Both of my parents revered our country’s veterans. I learned through their actions and beliefs that the men who served our country were to be honored. It was just the little things like always placing your hand over your heart when the flag passes by in the parade, mom stopping at the side of the road to buy those little red poppies the veterans would sell near Memorial day,(she always bought them),the candles she would light in our window when I was in Jr High because they asked us to do it in prayer for the Vietnam Veterans who were MIA, the cards she would buy from the disabled veterans, my dad taking us consistently to see the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds and always flying a flag from the side of his home,the list goes on and on.  I used to always feel the respect, honor and the underlying sadness that went with these actions from my parents.

My mother knew first-hand what kind of price a veteran pays to serve our country. Her father lost one leg and much of his other one as well in World War 1. He was forever reminded and lived with a sacrifice he made for his country.  I feel that (no matter what our political view point and our stand on war) we owe the very lives we live today to the courage and bravery of the men and women that serve our country.  The fact of the matter is without it we would be unable to state our opinion, vote, choose to worship or even marry the person we choose without their sacrifice.  It is real and humbling. These people all belong to families that sacrificed for their service and gave so very much as well. I  wish to thank them as well. They are unsung heroes and heroines…and some have given an ultimate sacrifice of loss of a person that they truly loved beyond and above.  

To these people today I would like to give my gratitude from the bottom of my heart:

My Grandfather Ward Beecher Saunders, my Grandpa John Daniel Elmer,my Father-in-Law Gordon P. Larson, my own dad Wayne Heber Elmer, my Brother Daniel Wayne Elmer, my Brother Levi Eugene Blair, my Uncle Dennis Christoffersen, my Uncle Ellis B Lyda, Misty’s Grandpa Lester Hanson, my friend Fred Friel, my friend Connie’s Brother Lewis Cervantez, my friend Lisa’s husband Tony McClure, my cousin Ricky’s sons and many of my friends sons and daughters that are serving now.

Some of  these people have gone on yet I still wish today to tell them thank you sooooo very much. I do not for one minute profess to understand the depth of what you have given, but I am so truly very grateful to you all today.

Please buy a poppy, fly a flag, sing our anthem, send a letter, and say a prayer for our Veterans.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood.