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Being thankful for our veterans

It just struck me last Sunday how appropriate it is that Thanksgiving Day and Veterans Day are in the same month.

On a list of things to be thankful for, our freedoms certainly should be near the top, and those freedoms are maintained through the security that our military provides for us and has provided for us for more than two centuries.

What the military does for us during wartime is pretty apparent. Even in unpopular wars or conflicts, it still helps protect American interests as part of the grand scheme of things as it relates to the United States.

I was fortunate to have grown up during a relative peacetime.

The Vietnam War ended in 1973, when I was nine. After that, the next actual war came in our protection of Kuwait in the first Gulf War in 1990.

However, although it is a “peace time” for us civilians, there is never a time when American forces are totally off-duty. Throughout the Cold War, American soldiers have been at the ready at the Berlin Wall, in the Demilitarized Zone between North Korea and South Korea and in hot spots like Nicaragua, Panama, Grenada, Yemen and Beirut.

No matter where they are, American soldiers are living targets as representatives of the United States on foreign soil for people whose ideas differ from ours or see our country as an aggressive overlord seeking world domination.

Today, we know of our soldiers’ service in Iraq, but little is said of soldiers serving elsewhere in the world. Still, they are out there, protecting U.S. interests, and serving here at home, training to ready to be sent wherever they are needed.

Regardless of how you may feel about the United States’ military involvement in certain areas, our military forces include people who volunteered to serve in the protection and defense of this country, who put their lives at risk in the name of the United States of America.

I may disagree with the reasons behind our involvement overseas, but I am not ungrateful for our soldiers’ service to our nation.

Thanks to our soldiers here and abroad, our freedoms, our way of life and the pursuit of our goals and dreams remains secure.

David Snow is the news editor for the Demopolis Times.