My Salute to Fellow Veterans…

On the eve of the 11th day of the 11th month which we celebrate the service of our Veterans, I want to provide a few personal thoughts.  We get caught up with our daily lives and what matters most to us personally, rarely thinking of the freedoms provided to us by the sacrifice of others.  Generations of Veterans have created the life we as Americans enjoy, but rarely do we give thanks for what we most take for granted.

I am one of those guys that will call someone out at an event where the National Anthem is played; talking through the song, not removing their hat, or otherwise have a total disregard for the reverence of the gratitude they owe to our Country.  One can read history and understand that we really are not in tough times…all of this freedom today just did not happen.  Just think if we were in the middle of World War II and our citizens were told they have to sacrifce…get drafted to fight, work in factories to support, or rationed basic necessities.  How about during the darkest time of our history…the Civil War?  Do you really think things are tough today?  We are raising a generation that has never known a really bad day…yes, they may not have received a ribbon for 6th place at a sporting event or they received a totally unfair grade from a teacher that “just doesn’t get it.”  What if we had to tell our under 40 group and their kids that the pair of shoes they are wearing will be it for this year, there is a war going on…

So when you see a Veteran wearing his medals or saluting the flag at a ceremony, offer your gratitude.  Veterans gave something bigger than themselves; a willingness to die for their Country.  I am blessed to come from a family with generations of Veterans including my father and my son that is currently serving.

I offer my personal salute to those Veterans that served before, alongside, and after me.  Remember, freedom isn’t free.

2Lt. Jeff Harbeson, 1984

2Lt. Jeff Harbeson, 1984

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