Honoring veterans: Thanks for everything

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today is Veterans Day and we remember those who not only lost their lives fighting for our country, but also those missing in action, prisoners of war and current members of our nation’s military.
I’ve always had the utmost respect for the men and women who fight so I can live in freedom.
In the grand scheme of things, my worst problems pale in comparison to the horrors our brave soldiers face on the battlefield. There are also the families left behind, and a parent who struggles to raise their children along and run a household.
Some members of the military even miss the birth of their children due to a deployment.
I just can’t imagine. We should be thanking them every day and do what we can to help those who would sacrifice a limb, life or family member to protect America.
My grandfather, Robert Hartigan, was a World War II veteran. He was stationed in Alaska and, years later, he talked about flying a plane. One of my greatest regrets is that I did not record his memories of his time spent there. The WWII generation is disappearing, as well as their amazing stories.
My Paw Paw, Curtis Favre, Sr., was a Navy veteran along with my uncle, David Favre Sr. My cousin, Steven Ortiz, who is about my age, joined the Marines after we graduated from high school. He fought in the Battle of Fallujah and the stories he told are the stuff nightmares are made of. He is now a member of the Army and plans to spend his career in the military.
I’m proud of my personal connection to these men and their bravery.
Veterans should be honored every day. When we meet a veteran, we should treat them with respect and help them in any way we can. They risked their lives for us, surely we can spare a thank you, a handshake, a hug or volunteer our time for a worthy cause.
We all complain, it’s human nature. Instead, the next time something minimal bothers you, think about what it’s like for the veteran sitting in a hospital with a missing limb or those battling the injuries that aren’t visible to the human eye and thank our nation’s military personnel for the life you are able to lead.

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