Veterans Day is one of the lasting icons of our national pride. As a nation we take a day to put aside our differences and remember the men and women that fought so that we can have those differences. It is a great day.

I have the honor of knowing a handful of active duty Marines. Some I graduated college with, some I've developed friendships with and some I've only talked to from a distance through others. I try to thank these individuals throughout the year for their service. But on Monday we stop as a nation to take our time to thank them.

I wanted to know what these thanks mean to these individuals - so I asked. Two of my greatest friends, Lance Corporal Robert Beeler and Lance Corporal Colten Fowler of the United States Marine Corps are currently at Camp Pendleton in California. Beeler is preparing for deployment and was able to put me in contact with several other active duty Marines including Sergeant Bryan Barrow, who will also be getting deployed very shortly. Sgt. Barrow has already served our country with two trips each to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In my personal opinion I feel that for veterans, the holiday is a chance for us to reduce the speed on the freeway from 80 mph down to 60 mph in the farthest right lane. A day where instead of calling for 'immediate suppression,' we 'cease fire' instead," wrote Barrow in an email. "On that one day, my life isn't as important to me as it is any other day. Why? Because instead of thinking about what my next meal of the day is going to be or what I plan on filling my busy day with next, I shed light and attention on all of those who have gone before me and my brothers and given the ultimate sacrifice. To die for our freedoms. Even the freedoms of those who currently serve such as myself. It is on that day in which we refocus on why we do what it is we do in our everyday life in the U.S. Military, why we continue to do it and why we do it to the best of our ability.

"The military is a family for most empty vessels of people, so for us it is similar to that of paying respect. Respect of the deepest roots. It is those veterans that went before us that continue to motivate, inspire and fill the very drive of most militants with their action and sacrifice. This is something that most individuals in today's society would not and will not understand, unless they have been in our position. From the unforgiving beaches of Normandy to the wheat-enriched fields of Afghanistan; We the veterans, will always remember our fallen brothers and sisters."

I also was in contact with Christopher Morgan, a young marine veteran from Rushville who also served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Veterans Day, to me, is a time to reflect not so much on my own service to my country, but the service of my fellow Marine brothers," wrote Corporal Morgan. "Being a combat vet from both Iraq and Afghanistan, I can say that I think back on more of the greatness that my fellow Marines accomplished while deployed. Veterans Day makes me feel a range of emotions - happiness, sorrow and pride.

"I consider myself lucky to have served with a great unit of Marines that ensured I came home to be able to enjoy this day with my family and friends. On this day, shake a veteran's hand. Tell them thank you. It will me more to that veteran than you think. Semper Fidelis and God bless Marines."

These men understand, more than most civilians can, what this day truly means to veterans and to our county.

To all veterans, thank you.



Neil Burk is the managing editor of The Paper of Montgomery County. His column, Behind the Headlines, appears periodically on Saturdays in The Paper. You can contact Neil at nburk@thepaper24-7.com.







Fwd:Cpl. Morgan Christopher 2ND BN 3RD MAR 3RD MAR DIV  Veteran's day to me is a time to reflect on not so much my own service to my country, but the service of my fellow Marine brothers. Being a combat vet from both Iraq and Afghanistan I can say that I think back on more of the greatness that my fellow Marines accomplished while deployed. Veterans Day makes me feel a range of emotions; happiness, sorrow, and pride. I consider myself lucky to have served with a great unit of Marines that ensured I came home to be able to enjoy this day with my family and friends. On this day shake a Veteran's hand, tell them thank you. It will mean more to that Vet than you think. Semper Fidelis and God Bless Marines





What does Veterans Day mean to Veterans



In my personal opinion, I feel that for veterans, the holiday is a chance for us to reduce our speed on the freeway from 80mph on Interstate 5 to 60mph in the farthest right lane of the freeway. Where instead of calling for "immediate suppression,"'we cease fire instead. On that one day, my life isn't as important to me as it is any other day. Why you ask.? It's because instead of thinking about what my next meal of the day is going to be or what I plan on filling my busy day with next, I shed light and attention on all of those who have gone before me and my brothers and given the ultimate sacrifice. To die fighting for our freedoms. Even the freedoms of those who currently serve such as myself. It is on that day in which we refocus on why we do what it is that we do in our everyday life in the U.S. Military, why we continue to do it, and why we do it to the best of our ability. The military is a family for most empty vessels of people, so for us it is similar to that of paying respect, respect of the deepest roots. It is those veterans that went before us that continue to motivate, inspire and fill the very drive of most militants with their actions and sacrifice. This is something that most individuals in today's society would not and will not understand, unless they have been in our position.. From the unforgiving beaches of Normandy to the wheat enriched fields of Afghanistan. We the veterans, will Always Remember our fallen brothers and sisters.



Respectfully

Sergeant Barrow B.S.

United States Marine Corps