There is a lot of support in Oakhurst and the surrounding towns for our military. A Freedom Fest was held on the 4th of July to celebrate our country's birthday and to remember every person that has fought for our country, especially those who have lost their lives doing so. Boy Scout Troop 341 and Pack 341 place flags on veterans' gravesites on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year.
Fundraisers have been held for Chance Gaal, a local injured soldier, by the Elks Lodge, Marine Corps, Realty Concepts and more.
The Marine Corps gives back to our community and veterans all year long through the Yosemite High School Cadet Corps, led by Col. Bruce Derry, Toys for Tots, and Richard LaMontaigne appearing at Eagle Scout ceremonies to support and encourage our upcoming leaders.
I see Adam Payne who works at Valero gas station several times a week. He was wounded in the Iraq war and remarked that he appreciates my window sticker, "If you like your Freedom, thank a Vet." He and other veterans see our local support and it makes them proud that they are a veteran.
I recently met Kurtis Foster, the military liaison for Congressman Denham's office, who was wounded five times in Iraq while serving our country.
It was nice to see the president visit Colorado after the horrendous theater shooting and the flags flying at half mast. But while the president was in Colorado, a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan was buried in Porterville with no president giving his respects ... No governor giving his respects. Nor did the soldier buried last month in Salinas. Why not? These are the forgotten patriots.
I am proud to live in an area where we celebrate, remember and support those who serve in the military and protect our freedom. I would like to see our government officials do the same, whether it is politically advantageous for them or not. I would just like to see our military honored by our government the way we honor them here in Oakhurst.
Gary L. Murphy, Oakhurst