“A veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to the people of the United States of America for any amount up to and including their life.” – Lt. Col. Boyd Lackey, author with a Ph.D in psychology who spent 36 years as a military chaplain around the world, and who is also a WORDsearch user.
Veteran’s Day is a time set apart to stop and think about the people who have served the United States by fighting in wars and protecting our country throughout the years. As our way of honoring veterans today here at WORDsearch, we want to share our memories and appreciation of what they have done and what it means to us.
On Veteran’s Day I remember my grandfathers, both of whom served in WWII (Navy and Marine Corps, respectively). In hindsight, I wish I had talked to them more about their service when I was younger. However, I do remember in the time I was lucky enough to have spent with them, the underlying foundation of each of their stories was a love of country, patriotism, and a willingness to serve and endure hardship for the good of their friends and family back home. I remember my good friends as well that have fought and died in this last decade of fighting. They too have a common thread between them. They love their country deeply. They love their brothers and sisters in arms. And they would die to protect and defend these. I’m eternally grateful for all who have worn the uniform. Happy Veteran’s Day. – Marvin Smith, e-book developer
Veterans are brave. They are selfless types. Their acts of service secured our comfortable lives. They positioned themselves to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect their families and the rest of us in spite of the possibility of death. There are few act of service among our species that are greater that this. – Julian Garcia, tech support
When I was 17, I worked in my hometown as a news photographer, and was sent out on assignment to photograph a crop duster in action. The business was owned and operated by two veterans who flew planes in World War II. The company was located in the middle of thousands of acres of farmland in the Rio Grande Valley. One of the owners drove me out to the field being sprayed, which had a 200 ft. radio tower in the middle. I was mesmerized as the plane flew an intricate pattern over the field to avoid the tower and wires as it sprayed. I was startled when a voice behind me asked, “Well, are you going to take any pictures?” Riding back to the airfield after we were done, the pilot radioed in, “Wanna race?” The driver mashed the accelerator until the speedometer was pegged at 120. Looking out my window, I saw the plane was flying so low beside us that when the road went through a clump of trees only the top of the tail was visible. I was still feeling the effects of the adrenaline overload that night when I excitedly related the story to my father, also a WWII vet. He just looked up from his newspaper and casually asked, “Who won?” Thank you Veterans, wherever you may be. – David Henderson, OCR technician
My dad was a veteran of WW2. He was sent to the Philippines with almost no training when he was barely 18. He watched many of his friends die and basically lived in foxholes and the jungle for three years. For the rest of his life, he lived with malaria, night sweats and nightmares. He worked two jobs to make a living and refused his medical disability from the VA because he felt like he was able to work, although he continually struggled with serious health issues. Sometimes we don’t realize what so many veterans give up, their losses and the change it makes in them as a person– forever. I have two other relatives who survived the POW camps in Germany, where they suffered starvation and freezing cold. Many of these young men hardly knew why they were fighting, but they defended the freedoms we have today so that we are not living under the rule of a demented man who wanted to impose his flawed idealogy on the entire world. We can never change what happened to these men and women who have served, but we can honor them and respect them for the sacrifices they have made. One way of doing this is to read a book written by someone who served in war time, to listen to them and make an effort to understand, and also to understand if it is too painful for a vet to discuss the events during that time of their life. It helps to understand that a person who has served in combat has a huge readjustment to make when they return to normal life and we can be sensitive to that. And we can say a heartfelt “Thank You.” – Linda Perry, trainer
I would like to say “Thank YOU” to all of the former and current service men and women in all of our Armed Forces for the U.S. My dad just passed away in October. He was an airman and proud member of the 417th in the U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1961, serving two tours in Greenland and Germany. He left his Air Force bomber’s jacket to my brothers and I to remember him. I take this time to not only thank God for his service, but to all who have given of themselves to preserve the right to say “In God We Trust.” God bless. – Pastor Fern Anderson, sales department
It’s hard to express how I feel about veterans. I have never been in the service, but relatives of mine have been part of every American war dating back to the Texas revolution. There have been nearly as many purple hearts in my family as actual hearts. One of my grandfathers even received two purple hearts for the same injury (shot in the leg by a German sniper in WWII) due to a mix-up in paperwork. I can tell that my relatives’ experiences, though rarely spoken of, have created in them a deep hatred of war but an even deeper love of their country. My gratitude to them, and to all who actively defend this country, goes beyond what I can articulate or even understand. I thank God for them all. – Joe Hendley, e-book development
What do you appreciate about veterans? Share with us, and take time out today (and any other day!) to tell any that you know personally.