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Remember to thank a veteran

October 31, 2011
By BILL MAZEY - Community Columnist , Tribune Chronicle |

Sometimes we don't think of how life's circumstances are connected. For instance, how easy is it to go to a voting booth and just take that privilege and responsibility for granted?

Maybe we spend more time talking and arguing over issues, politicians and parties than we need too. Maybe it's just me but how about thanking a veteran for helping to preserve our freedoms and ensuring that we have the right to vote in this great country?

Veterans Day is just around the corner. It was started as a holiday to commemorate the end of World War I. It has grown to be a time to honor all veterans who have served our country. Soon there will be services all over the country to pay respect to all the men and women who have served in one of the branches of the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

Whether the men and women joined or were drafted, we should be proud of their service, sacrifice and selflessness. Some who served made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in the line of duty. Families have grieved and wondered, why? Isn't this all the more reason to be proud of our military and grateful enough to show our appreciation?

Let's give respect and honor equally to the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. We need all of them working together to protect our lives and liberties. Sometimes they may be taken for granted. Sometimes they may be criticized. Sometimes people may even wonder how big a military we need. But one thing is for certain, we are glad they are there when we need them.

None of us would really like to think of where we would be as a country if we did not have a strong and well equipped military. Threats to our freedoms are real. We don't even know all of them. We do know the power and effectiveness of our military is respected all over the world. We Americans can rest easily knowing that our Armed Forces protect us.

In just a few short days we will observe a special day set aside to remember our veterans. Let's show our support and appreciation in a practical way. Think of some encouraging thing you can do to show appreciation to a veteran or someone who is currently serving. A little encouragement can go a long way.

Recently in the church we had a young Marine visit. He came with his grandparents. He was home from boot camp. I asked him if it would be OK to have a special time of prayer for him. I called him up to the front of the church, and then I asked for some men to come up and circle him and lay hands on him, and we prayed for him. It was a very moving experience.

We have veterans in our church, and they were glad to be a part of that prayer time. That Marine looked so young and so strong in his uniform and yet, those of us who are older know that no one knows what lies ahead for that young Marine or anyone else serving in our military. So we pray and hopefully we tell them thank you and that we appreciate their service.

So to all the veterans living in Trumbull County who have served our country and its civilians, I would like to say, ''thank you.'' Your service and sacrifices are greatly appreciated. May God bless you and your families abundantly.

Mazey is a Trumbull County pastor. Email him at



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