Dr. Bill Atwood

Thanking veterans

A few weeks ago Donald Trump impugned the sacrifice made by John McCain while he was serving our nation, both as a warrior and as a P.O.W. held in Vietnam. Trump’s argument was that McCain wasn’t a hero, and that the only thing he did was to get shot down and captured. Trump backpedaled a little when he suggested that those who did not get shot down or captured had done a better job.

I guess when you are a billionaire who was helped into that rarified strata by your millionaire daddy, it is easy to diminish the sacrifice made by our veterans. This week we take time to celebrate Veteran’s Day, and we use that opportunity to express our profound thanks and appreciation for the job they did and the risks they took to provide us with our freedom. Last Memorial Day, as we do each May, we honor the battle wounded and those killed in the line of duty while they protect us in war. Each Nov. 11, we honor every single solitary person who has ever donned the uniform of this nation and stands or stood a watch in defense of this great country.

There is a group who wants to make an issue that the wealth of this nation is concentrated in the 1% and that the 99% should have more. It is interesting that those who protest and demand more wealth to be transferred to them do so because of their First Amendment Right guaranteed by the Constitution but backed up by the sacrifice of the American veteran. The irony is that now only 1% of the population of this nation serves in the military while the other 99% of us just get to enjoy the benefit from the service of the 1% crowd known as veterans. While they protest, I hope they realize who stood up against the enemies of our nation so that they may protest.

Another group of great folks will be joining together to celebrate the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The actual birthday is Nov. 10, but the local Marine Corps League will be celebrating at E.C.C.O on Nov. 8. The oldest Marine and the youngest Marine will cut the traditional cake and serve it to one another. The Marine Hymn will be sung, history retold, glorious actions of the Corps honored and the fellowship that Marines share with one another will fill out the evening.

The Marines are a special lot to be sure. Once a Marine, always a Marine. There never are “former Marines.” From their humble beginnings in a tavern on Nov. 10,1775, the Corps has served this nation with distinction, honor, and pride. Ronald Reagan made the comment one year that many men spend time wondering if their life really mattered. Reagan went on to state a Marine never has to ask themselves that question. From the early battles of the American Revolution to the Shores of Tripoli, to Montezuma’s Halls to Iwo Jima, Chosin, Guadalcanal, to today in the Middle East the Marines have saved the day for America while ruining the day of the enemy soldier on the other side.

This week we honor all who serve and all who served. This week we thank the Corps and we can not only say thanks but join in with those burley Jarheads and donate a Toy for a Tot to be shared at Christmas. The Marines help Santa Claus out here in our area and last year gave out more than 4,000 gifts. They served us and we can now serve them.

To those Marines in our area, “Happy Birthday and Semper Fi.” To the veterans in our area, we thank you for the sacrifice you made. It may be easy to sit in a tower and judge who did what and what rates as heroic or not. Frankly, the fact that you stepped forward, did your duty, and preserved freedom for all the rest of us is heroic to me. I can’t thank you enough but I do say a prayer of thanks to God each day for your sacrifice.

Thank you veterans, thank you so very much.