SPRINGVILLE ó The United States observed Veterans Day on Nov. 12, since Nov. 11 fell on a Sunday. Our local service men and women were recognized, in several ceremonies, across Western New York, and a late Collins soldier was honored for his service to his country.
I want to personally thank those who have signed up for this dangerous, and often thankless, job.
It makes me sad that Americans can celebrate veterans, by hanging red, white and blue bunting from rooftops and shooting fireworks in memorial of fallen troops, and then turn around and berate our country for all of the work its military has done, overseas, in the defense of freedom.
Last month, NBC News contributor Bill Briggs reported about anti-military stirs at Rutgers University, regarding United States veterans enrolled in college under the GI Bill. ďWhy should we pay for these guys to go to college?Ē one student asked. ďEverybody who goes into the military is stupid. Thatís why they joined the military, instead of going to college.Ē
In the same article, Briggs said, ďAt Columbia University in New York City, a wounded Iraq War veteran was heckled and booed in February by fellow students, as he argued for the return to that school of the Reserve Officersí Training Corps.Ē
My grandfather, Fred Owen, did his duty to his country and served in the United States Army. I am happy to say that I have such an honorable legacy and I will not let anyone take that pride away. I have several friends who are currently stationed overseas: friends who have left family members and friends behind, in loyalty to their country and dedication to the job they signed up for. My brother-in-law recently enlisted in the Army and my family could not be more proud of him.
I find it interesting that most (but, of course, not all) anti-military sentiment comes from those who, themselves, refuse to set a toe inside a combat boot or strap on a ballistic vest. It is easy to oppose military endeavors when you are sitting in a cushy armchair in front of the TV, isnít it?
Thank you, local veterans, for your service. As an American benefitting from your sacrifice, I will always be grateful.