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Thank a veteranPosted Wednesday, November 11, 2009, at 10:24 PM
Wednesday (Nov. 11) was Veteran's Day.
Thank you to all our military veterans -- from every war, every conflict, and even in peacetime.
These brave men and women have unselfishly answered the call to duty and have worked to defend our freedoms and liberties for decades.
Time and time again they left their homes, their jobs, their families to go off to war, foreign conflicts and to military duty on the home front to preserve those freedoms we all enjoy.
The veterans have come from big cities, small towns like those in Greene County, from farms located in every part of this great nation of ours.
This community has a close kinship and respect for the military.
Indiana National Guardsmen based in Linton have twice in recent years been deployed for year-long active duty orders in the Middle East.
One of the nation's largest Naval bases, NSA Crane is located a few miles away with their employees and defense contractors working tirelessly every day to supply our Warfighters with the best technological equipment and weapons.
The role of our military veterans -- past and present -- was aptly described by a friend of mine -- Rick Hudson, from Bloomfield -- as he addressed a Veteran's Day program at Bloomfield High School a couple years ago.
His words are so true.
"It may be possible to count the number of times that American men and women have been called to defend freedom around the world. But we will never know how many more times conflicts have been avoided because our foes understood that American armed forces are prepared to defend our freedom and the freedom of others throughout the world," Hudson said. "Today, we honor them and say thank you for your service. Those who fought in wars and those who fought to keep the peace," Hudson said speaking to the veterans from past and present who were assembled in the school's auditorium.
After the American Revolution, a new meaning for the old word veteran helped us express our appreciation for the soldiers who had fought for our independence.
Formerly the word veteran had just meant "someone with experience," as it can nowadays.
But we began to use veteran also to designate ex-servicemen, those who had completed military service rather than those who were still in it.
Our new meaning for the old word gave veterans a certain respect after their retirement or honorable discharge from soldiering and earned them not only public gratitude, but practical benefits from their country.
Starting with the American Revolution, the federal government has provided veterans with pensions, land, hospital care, and preference in hiring.
By 1848 the abbreviation 'vets' started to be used with frequency.
In the 20th century, the federal government established a Veterans' Administration to deliver benefits.
November 11, the Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I in 1918, was officially renamed Veterans' Day in 1954.
On a personal note, I am reminded every day of my dad's military service in World War II. Even though he died 51 years ago when I was a very small child, in recent years I started carrying his U.S. Army dog tag on my key chain as a constant reminder of what he did to serve his country.
His sacrifice and the sacrifices of all military veterans cannot and should not be forgotten.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wordmaster1953.
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