The Times West Virginian

November 10, 2013

Veterans of present and the past paint a powerful portrait of American freedom

Times West Virginian

— In many areas of life, a uniform identifies the wearer as a member of the represented team or organization. From the moment that the wearer puts on the “colors,” they are forever identified as a member of that group.

Of all the possibilities in uniforms, none can equal the uniform of the armed forces of the United States. When each man or woman is issued the appropriate military attire that represents their branch of service, they have then and forever earned the honorable and respected privilege and title of veteran.

During their time of actively serving in their branch of service, they proudly wear the uniform that identifies their distinguished place in the defense and protection of America. Nothing or no one can compete with the meaningful and reassuring image of a service person standing at attention simultaneously ready for action as the national anthem is played.

These veterans of both the present and the past paint a forceful patriotic portrait of American freedom and democracy. Each veteran is a vital and respected piece of Americana that should stand proud and tall in the presence of a grateful and indebted nation.

Our flag known as “Old Glory” is a historical and unchanging symbol that should swell us with pride at the very sight of it. But firmly, devotedly and with great sacrifice, it is protectively held aloft with the strong and determined hands and arms of all veterans.

We Americans can never repay the debt owed to this dedicated band of brothers and sisters who have distinguished themselves with service and sacrifice to their country.

They have gone where most of us will never go. They have done what most of us will never do. They have bravely served as most of us will never serve. They have carved their names in the annals of history where few of us can ever enter. They have well earned our patriotic respect and gratitude that only their service to country can generate.

America’s veterans should be honored every day and minute of the year. A day set aside for this honor is rightly and justly observed. The uniforms that now clothe and once clothed these veterans are but a symbol that wraps around the body, spirit, dedication and purpose of the invaluable wearer.

A happy, healthy and honorable Veterans Day to every veteran. You are truly heroes and patriots all. We as individuals and as a nation are forever indebted for your sacrifice and service.

God bless America and all you who have dutifully and proudly earned the title veteran.

— Elton Slusser