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Letter: Phil Sparks
Veteran gives thanks

Friday, November 15, 2013

I am finally reaching a place in life where on Veterans Day I can kick back, reflect and enjoy the day. I think about the distinct honor it was to serve our country. I also appreciate my many comrades that served before, during and after my service. As U.S. veterans we all share a bond that is hard to describe.

Veterans Day was set aside to honor all veterans who served or are serving honorably in peacetime or war. Many sometimes confuse Veterans Day for Memorial Day in May when we honor our fallen heroes and pledge to never forget their sacrifice. Veterans Day is for every veteran and I hope all enjoyed it.

Virtually every veteran friend I have is fiercely proud of their service, as they should be, and I know of none who have ever said they wouldn’t do it all over again.

While reflecting on military service I hope my brothers and sisters in arms will remember the kindness that has been shown to so many veterans by the wonderful American people in general, our families, friends, business owners and professionals in all walks of life.

I can remember things like the flight attendant that gave me a better seat on the plane, or the nice waitress that sped my order up so I could still catch a flight. The mechanic that stayed late to get my car fixed so I could make it home for Christmas. I appreciated that “care” package there in the central highlands of Vietnam that the Salvation Army members sent me in 1966.

I also appreciate the many businesses that offer veteran discounts every day. There are countless stories by veterans about when they wore their uniform, trying to pay for a meal and the cashier told them “someone already paid”. Will you ever forget the people that gave us a rides when we were hitch-hiking trying to get somewhere on a weekend pass?

Fortunately the American people love us veterans and it was an honor to serve this wonderful country. So thanks back to all the Americans who treat us so well.

God bless America.

Phil Sparks



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