America celebrates Veterans Day on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, the day the guns fell silent in Europe and ended World War I.
Veterans Day is a chance to thank and honor those who have selflessly served their country. A veteran is a person who has served honorably in the U.S. military. He or she may have served for more than two decades or served for four years and left the service at the ripe old age of 24. Nevertheless, each sacrificed defending the freedoms we cherish.
In 2017, I had the honor to sit down with World War II Veteran, Gordon A. Templeton, Chief Hospital Corpsman of the U.S. Navy. Gordon retired from the U.S. Navy in 1959 after 20 years of service. Little did I know that three days after we visited, he would retire from this life and pass on to heaven 97 years young!
Spending thirty minutes in the presence of retired Chief Hospital Corpsman Templeton reiterates what is so great about America. With a gentle voice, he told me how his ship was attacked but remained at sea. The two other vessels which deployed alongside his ship were both destroyed.
Mr. Templeton believed in prayer and asked God to spare his ship, so he could fulfill his medical duties and assist injured soldiers. God answered his prayer. The U.S.S. Chandler remained at sea. But make no mistake; he wanted to make sure I understood that he would have been honored to give his life for America to remain a free nation.
America still has soldiers who are willing to lay down their lives to protect our freedom. These brave men and women serve with honor, sacrificing their dreams to defend the freedom that both you and I enjoy daily. That is why we celebrate Veteran’s Day!
America’s support for its veterans and those currently enlisted is crucial for our ability to field a strong fighting force in the future. They bring a myriad of talents and perspectives. Most have traveled to other parts of the world, have had the advantage of seeing other governments, witnessed oppression, poverty, and authoritarianism, and have received intensive training in leadership and organizational skills. They know both discipline and self-sacrifice.
Veterans Day is a special day where we pause to celebrate those who have served. We honor them for willingly raising their right hand and taking the oath of allegiance to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Happy Veteran’s Day!