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Hartselle Enquirer

Thank You

The words “Thank You: just seem to be so little to say to those who have served our country in the U.S. Armed Forces. Whether Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force or the state National Guard, the willingness to protect the freedom of the people of the United States, by the American soldier is unparalleled.

Watching the local veterans Tuesday at the HJHS program, during the annual Hartselle Veterans Day program, being moved as the older gentlemen saluted the flag during the Pledge Of Allegiance. Watching the gentlemen rise quickly to their feet as they chorus sang the anthem of their branch of military creates a lump in your throat and brings tears to your eyes.

I think about them as young men who left their homes and families behind. Those brave young men and now women, fighting on foreign soil, in worse than horrible conditions, so those left at home could live in this land of freedom.

Seeing the photos of grandfathers, uncles, dads, husbands and others that have been posted on social media, really forces one to think how young most of our veterans were when they served. Many of those men who fought so bravely and especially those who paid the ultimate price, left as young boys and quickly were forced to become men on the battlefield.

My wife’s uncle Hal Roberts was only 20 years old when he was killed in WWII. I look at his picture and I cannot imagine what it must have been like to leave the safety and warmth of his Hartselle home to fight in this war at his young age. But like Hal thousands upon thousands have made the same journey in their quest to serve and protect.

I had the pleasure of meeting a Marine this past Sunday who was 95 years old. Roy H. Drinkard still has a gleam in his eye when he talks about being a member of the Marine Corp. He even has the Marine Corp anthem on his phone when you call his number; I know this for sure because he gave me his number to call.

Those of us, who have not served, cannot in our deepest imagination comprehend what soldiers from the Revolutionary War up until present day face on a daily basis. I think of those who are in the Middle East facing an evil enemy who has been trained to not only hate America, but also take it as their responsibility to destroy this country. This same enemy thinks they will be rewarded for strapping explosives to themselves and killing innocent children.

Most of us will never deal with that type of evil, thanks to those who enlist and volunteer to fight for our freedom.

Yes, just saying thanks for your service seems so little, but we honor and salute the brave men and women who served, fought and continue to serve in the battle to keep our country “the land of the free and home of the brave.” We are blessed to live in the greatest country that has ever existed, and the freedom we enjoy was and is bought and paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of our soldiers.

Let us all stand untied behind these brave men and women. God Bless all Veterans past and present, and God Bless America!

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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