It's important to honor veterans past and present

Nov. 22, 2012 at 5:22 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Recalling Veteran's Day and in light of the election outcome, I believe it's important that members of our armed services - past and present - know the views of some of the citizenry of this country.

I was born in Japan. By age 7, I had lived in Japan, Rhode Island and California. I don't remember all details of these places, but here's a memory I do have: Strange-looking people carrying signs, shouting from sidewalks and street corners as "Mama" drove my brothers and I to U.S. Naval Base, San Diego to pick up "Daddy" after his many months at sea.

What I saw didn't make sense to a 5-year-old who understood only that her daddy wasn't home because he was on a ship on the other side of the world. I still don't know details of his service. He's shared freely and proudly details of good friends made and their camaraderie.

Many have been touched by war, affecting them in different ways. I shared a glimpse of war through the eyes of a child. Imagine what stories could be shared, if only we took time to listen to our veterans. We would hear about losses of youth spent fighting unknown enemies in foreign lands, great pride and love for country and sacrifices well-made. But today, we might also hear lamentations of veterans watching as freedoms earned with blood and great sacrifice are slipping away.

History's laden with war - just read the Old Testament. Our response to our warriors - those who've bravely defended freedoms taken for granted - is also part of history. I fear my daddy will leave this earth feeling that he and his older brothers spent their youth serving a country that no longer appreciates their sacrifices.

The U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 237th birthday on Nov. 10. To honor the brave men and women of all branches of our armed services - past and present - please, thank a veteran. If you can't find one, visit your local cemetery. There, you will find many veterans to whom you may give thanks.

Sarah Wick, Hallettsville



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