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    Posted November 11, 2012 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Veterans in focus

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    A Salute to Veterans - Thank You for Liberty!


    Today  we stop and give thanks for all those who have served the nation in  uniform, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Some gave the ultimate  sacrifice of their lives in order to ensure that we have the life we so  proudly proclaim and was evidenced earlier this week with the general  election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans being able to pick  and choose their leaders.

    The  ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds,  the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words  without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above  our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought  for peace, justice and freedom. None of our liberties came without cost  and thus we owe a debt to each of our veterans and to those who still  serve.

    Now on a more personal note:

    In  those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese  Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville,  Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the  US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy  both in the European Theater and in the Pacific. Three made it back home  at the close of World War II. The one who didn't return was my Uncle  Hobert. My grandfather and his other two brothers came home, but  changed, never to be the same.

    My step-father, a fresh-faced  kid from Sullivan County, Indiana didn't wait to be drafted. He went to  the recruiting office and signed up to be a soldier for Uncle Sam. He  survived, though wounded once, three tours in Viet Nam. He remained in  the US Army to retire after 20 years as an E-8 First Sergeant.

    My grandfather's only son, my uncle, later followed in his father's  footsteps and sailed off on the ocean blue with the Navy. He served  around the world, then came home.

    All of these veterans within  my own family are now gone, but not forgotten. Their service made it  possible for me to join the US Air Force in 1976. My time was spent at  Grissom AFB, right here in the Cornfield. It also allowed my  step-brother a few years later to join the US Army. Unfortunately, we  lost him in a drunk driving incident after he did his duty and was home.

    The sacrifice of my grandfather, great-uncles and step-father also  allowed all of us to still be living in the land of the free and the  home of the brave.

    That is why I am always appreciative of  those who choose to serve in our military. That is why I always have an  empathy and a connection to the families left behind to keep the home  fires burning to shine the light to lead our service members home.

    Today, we celebrate not just the veterans of that long ago war that was  to be the war to end all wars, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate  and to show appreciation for all who have served our great nation and  those who continue to serve.

    From the Cornfield, veterans, I salute you and thank you!

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