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November 7, 2013

Marine for Life: Veterans are true heroes

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

It didn’t matter.  To these people, the honor was so much greater than the cost.  They were true warriors.

Every day hundreds of thousands of warriors face life or death situations, instinctively reacting to situations.  They are responsible not only for their lives, but also for the lives of the men and women to their right and left.  Selflessly, they make decisions that last forever, some pay the ultimate price just to save their friends, never to return home.  The ones that do come home often return with scars that the naked eye can’t see.  It’s the hero’s price.

Our true heroes come home with both physical and emotional scars.  They’re unable to express themselves because they feel like no one understands.  They come home having seen and done unspeakable things in the service of their country.  They come home to news of protestors at military funerals and to people that inquisitively seek to find out how similar Call of Duty is to the real thing.  They’re asked “how many people did you kill?” and are forced to relive thoughts and memories that would cause a weaker spirit to shatter.  And yet they shoulder their burden and they carry on.

As a U.S. Marine veteran and having just had a brother returned from serving in Afghanistan, I can confidently say our veterans do not get the thanks that they deserve.  They don’t expect thanks and they’ll never ask for it, but they deserve it.

So during this time of year, when we honor our veterans, I choose to thank those veterans past, present and future that have made the decision to serve our country.  I want them to know, from one veteran to another, I appreciate what they have done for me.  I want them to know I am grateful for their sacrifice.

 

rmcdaniel@sentinel-echo.com

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