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Veterans are often referred to as the backbone of this country.  Without them, there would be no Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – No United States of America.  If it wasn’t for U.S. Veterans – it’s hard to imagine what the world would look like today – for not only us, but for most of the free world.

Our World War II Veterans answered the call and faced threats on the other side of the world.  Since then, our armed forces have not only defended the land we call home – but also the values we hold sacred, worldwide.   Our veterans have not only stood up for human rights and basic freedoms throughout the world, they have also responded to provide service and aid to those in need – both home and abroad.

When disaster strikes or our enemies threaten us – our veterans have answered the call of duty and served.  They have helped the suffering and protected us from those that would destroy our way of life.   They have endured hunger, loss, pain, and even simply time away from family and loved ones – to serve and fight.  They do so knowing that some may make the ultimate sacrifice – for our nation.

These days, especially, we need to take the time to recognize those that have served and display our gratitude as much as possible. 

We also need to make certain that our FUTURE VETERANS understand what a core role they play in the future of our nation.  Those currently serving and even our younger generations need to know that we as a nation are eternally grateful for their sacrifices.  Regardless of the politics and whims of some citizens – the American Soldier has always protected our way of life and allowed peace and prosperity throughout the world.   Our future as a nation and the values we represent to the world are in their hands.

There are many others that serve both here and abroad, sacrificing to make a difference every day in the lives of others.  Teachers, medical professionals, law enforcement, and other first responders – even the volunteers helping to host a charity ride to benefit a family in need – ALL contribute and make our nation what it is.   We as a nation need to recognize and celebrate them all and the spirit that drives them.  It is what makes us a beacon for freedom and compassion throughout the world.

In our Veterans, we see this in its purest sense.  Our military is made up of those that have answered the call – from all walks of life – men and women, and of all races and backgrounds.  Together they serve, bonded with a spirit that we need to celebrate! 

Regardless of what the headlines blare and we might read online – the AMERICAN SPIRIT remains ALIVE!  And we can find it in its purest form amongst our VETERANS – the folks that have both defended it and put it on display for all the world to see.  It’s not celebrity athletes or movie stars that convey what it means to be an AMERICAN to those in the furthest corners of the world.  It is the AMERICAN SOLDIER that reaches out for a child in need, that protects the innocent, and defends those in need – regardless of their color, ethnicity, or religion. 

Thank you for showing the world – and us – what it means to be an AMERICAN.

God Bless each and every Veteran – and our nation as a whole. 

D.A. Smith

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