Veteran’s Day

From the day the United States declared our independence from England, we have fought in about 12 wars. Since then, about 42 million men and women have served our country. Over 2.5 million men or women have been killed or wounded in battle. (See more statistics)

I left the comfort of my easy post-high school life of hanging out with friends for a camouflage uniform and combat boots. There were mornings in boot camp that began at 3:00 a.m. or earlier outside in the freezing cold for days on end. After boot camp and tech school, I began my duty of being a Navigational Aids Tech.

During my last year in the U. S. Marine Corps, I had the privilege of spending 6 weeks deployed to the hallowed ground known as Iwo Jima. If you are not familiar with Iwo Jima then you might want to read the book, Flags of Our Fathers. Iwo Jima was a strategic stronghold that had an established airfield and America needed the island to run successful bombing raids on the mainland of Japan. A total of 6,821 American gave the ultimate sacrifice while trying to overtake the Japanese stronghold.

I had the privilege of being promoted to Corporal on the top of Mt. Suribachi, where Joe Rosenthal took one of the most famous war pictures of the flag being raised. I left my corporal rank chevron and one of my most prized possessions, my original dog tag from boot camp, on top of the mountain as a sign of respect for the fallen. I appreciate the ultimate sacrifice that all veterans and the families of veterans have made to ensure the freedoms that we have will not be taken away. Thank you for everything.

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