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Maelstrom in WNY: We Are Who We Are Because of Veterans | Commentary

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Maelstrom in WNY: We Are Who We Are Because of Veterans

How can we pay back Veterans for what they have given the United States? You often hear that question on this day as the various ceremonies around the community celebrate and honor those who served for their country. For some the debt owed is greater than others.

There are those Veterans who served in WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Dessert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan. Men and women who were in the heart of the action and have images that will haunt them until the day they die.

We have all watched the films, TV shows and read the books. There are stories of great heroism and tragic outcomes. Young men, barely out of high school put into situations that would test any ones heart and soul. Many left behind in graveyards bearing names we could not even pronounce. Then there are those who returned but left much of their selves behind.

There are Veterans who stayed State side during those conflicts, waiting for orders that would send them into the fray. Their service was not nearly as dangerous, but not because they didn't volunteer. They may not have received the medals, but their contribution added to our nations success in each world wide confrontation.   

Veterans are celebrated on this day and we should also be celebrating their families. Those who mailed the letters and gift boxes. Those who waited for their return only to receive a telegram telling them that it would be in a box. Yes, the families upon whom the burden of carrying on still weighs heavy.

We often hear the taunts of our enemies proclaiming their hatred for what is the United States. Attempting to make the red, white and blue to be a symbol of oppression rather than freedom. The truth is our nation has never ventured into those wars mentioned earlier fore the sake of acquiring territory or taking over continents. We have sacrificed our bravest in the name of freedom and opposing those who would seek domination and dictatorships.    

Veterans Day is a reminder that a society must always have those willing to stand up and fight for survival. A calling that is not heard by all, but enough to thankfully keep us and those stand with us, free.

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