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What does Veteran's Day mean to me

Nov 11, 2017 08:36AM ● Published by Derek Plymate

Gallery: Derek Plymate United States Air Force [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

Veterans Day holds a very cherished place in my heart. You see, my father was a Veteran, both of my grandfathers were Veterans, virtually every male member of my family since the Civil War was a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces.  This includes myself. I left the West Metro a long time ago to go to college and then spent 21 years in the United States Air Force defending our Nation and upholding its ideals around the world.  Veterans to me are my brothers and sisters in arms, we share a common calling…Service above self.  Veterans are those members of our nation whose willingness to serve others above their needs, their patriotism, and commitment to protect its citizens at the possible cost of their own lives is a rare and cherished set of traits.

Veterans make up only about 15% of the US Population (320 Million) according to the US Dept of Veteran Affairs, of which only 53,000 live in Hennepin County.  Since the first honoring of Veterans Day on the 11th day, of the 11th Month in 1919 (originally called Armistice Day) to mark the one year anniversary of the end of World War One, it’s a day to Honor and Thank the brave men and women who have served and are still serving.  To acknowledge the sacrifices they have made for us to allow us to enjoy the freedoms we have.

I am proud to be a Veteran.  I had many great and some bad times during my years of service.  I gained many lifelong friends and unfortunately have lost a few.  Despite it all, I would do it all over again because I believe like my fellow veterans believe that service to your community and service to your country is a noble and honorable calling that we should all strive to answer in our own way. 

I ask that if you see a Veteran, please take a moment and say thank you or even shake their hand because I know I will.  Even though I am a Veteran like them, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the freedoms they sacrificed for or have the opportunity to raise my family in the beautiful city of Medina.  I’d like to say Thank You from the bottom of heart to all my fellow Veterans and wish you a Happy Veterans Day!

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