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November 11, 2015

More than most holidays, I celebrate this day in my heart.  It gives me chills to think of the sacrifices made on my behalf.  While I become more jaded with age, still I feel the same thrill I felt as a child when I see an American flag waving.

American Flag

My father was a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during WWII. My husband served in the Air Force before the Gulf War. I have Marine cousins, Army cousins and friends in the Army and Navy.

I feel very lucky to live in a country with an all-volunteer military. It wasn’t always that way, of course. I was very young when my brother received his draft card for Vietnam. We were still grateful for our military men in those days, but they weren’t all volunteers.

Whatever your views on war in general, never forget that today’s men and women of the armed forces have voluntarily sacrificed an easier life for one of duty to a higher purpose. Whether the government uses these people well is a discussion for another day. Today is Veteran’s Day. Well utilized or not, these folks risk their lives for their fellow Americans. For you and for me. These are people of character. They deserve our respect. They deserve our support.

So, thank you to all the selfless individuals who make up the American military on this, your special day.

—E. A. Cooke


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