The veteran may well be your butcher; your barber or hairdresser; your automaker; your local business owner, small or large.

We may be your medical provider; your truck driver or the person that mows your lawn. We are skilled tradesmen; we are restaurateurs. We are linemen and pilots and factory workers of all kinds. We work in the schools and universities of our community. We are police officers, firemen, government workers and Judge-Executives. We sit beside you in church, at the ball game and at the local theatre. We are the car salesman, the mechanic and the autobody repairman. We are the worker that paves your roads and we are the minister at church. We work in food production and we are farmers and ranchers. We are the person that delivers your mail.

Some of us are retired or unemployed. We are men. We are women. We once served in the military; some of us for a few years, some for a career or lifetime. You may have noticed the flag we proudly display. You may have seen us volunteering in the community or performing graveside honors for fallen veterans.

You may have seen us at special events on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July or Veterans Day. You may notice us standing up or saluting when the flag goes by in a parade or perhaps you may have seen us when we place flags on every known veteran’s grave around Memorial Day.

On those days, if you look closely, you may see a small tear welling in our eye as we remember our fallen comrades and as we vividly recall the terrible cost of freedom. You may have seen us at the local VA clinic or volunteering at the information desk of our local hospital.

You may have seen us teaching flag etiquette in our local schools or in other patriotic efforts. We are from all walks of life. We are your neighbors, your friends and your family. We still say the Pledge of Allegiance and we honor those that have served or are still serving. Many of us still serve in veteran service organizations like the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), AMVETS, or the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

We are proud of our country and we bleed Red, White and Blue. We once took an oath to uphold our constitution and our oath has never expired. We are proud to be called Americans. It is an honor and a privilege to have served our country.

So, my friends, look around for those veterans among us. Some of us may be hard to spot. But when you find us, give us a smile and let us know that you enjoy the freedoms secured by our veterans and guaranteed by our military men and women actively serving today.

Bill Bolen

American Legion Post 126


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