Don't overlook Veteran's Day

Published 5:25 pm Friday, November 11, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Growing up most people thought of veterans being that group of over 60-year old men that hung out at the local diner early in the morning.
That's still true today as evident by the smell of old coffee and stale cigarettes at local fast food restaurants bright and early. Only this day and age a lot of veterans are more than 15 years away from retirement, have children who haven't graduated high school and some are even still in college.
Those aren't too shocking of statistics considering a lot of young adults have served and died for our great country in wars throughout the years. Back then though, a lot of soldiers didn't have a choice due to the draft, which forced many of them onto the battlefield. Their service was vital during a time of change in our country, and most, except for those few that dodged the draft, knew that they had to serve our country in order to protect it.
Since our grandfathers and fathers served on foreign soil, our country has undergone several changes, the biggest being Sept. 11; the first time an attack has been made on American soil. The attacks on that gloomy day helped to boost patriotism and enlistment into military services grew. It was the birth of new veterans.
Now, as veterans of the many historical wars in our history rock their grandchildren to sleep while singing Jesus Loves Me and the baby boomers turn 60, our great country is experiencing another war. The soldiers on the front lines today are part of our generation and those that have lost their lives are among our brothers and sisters. It's a blessing to know that even with passing generations there are still men and women out there that are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom.
Atmore's own 711th Signal Battalion, made up of men and women, black and white, young and old are among those that have recently served our country. Some may believe that being a part of a class of soldiers isn't too appealing considering the dangers faced while at war, but that type of courage and commitment for what we all believe is right should be admired.
So remember Friday when you go to the bank and the doors are closed or when you're enjoying your day off from school that there are thousands of Americans braving the unfavorable conditions of the War in Iraq. If a member of your family is currently protecting us either overseas or as a fulltime serviceman or woman on home soil don't forget to pick up the phone or drop them an e-mail expressing your appreciation for their service.
Keep all of our soldiers in your prayers and take the time out to thank those veterans at home for their sacrifices for not just our country, but for you. Veteran's Day isn't just a day off to them; it's an emotional day of reflection that is well-deserving of a handshake or even a hug and of course, a simple 'Thank You!'
Adam Prestridge is publisher of the Atmore Advance. His column appears weekly.

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