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September 4, 2014

Giving thanks to our Veterans
Neil Allen


I’m just one of many Shelby County area volunteers who’ve helped plan and participate in many of the previous nine and now next September 19-21 trip of Shelby County area Veterans to Washington, DC to visit their memorials they’ve not yet seen.   And we send all Veteran’s at no expenses to them!  Let there be no doubt that each of us along for the trips have brought home many rewarding memories being alongside those most wonderful Veterans.  If asked which of all those memories were the most poignant, most of us would agree on one; watching fellow citizens also visiting the memorials when we were there coming up to our Veterans to shake their hands and express thanks for their service.   In most cases, our Veterans have been taken off guard not expecting such kind acts of appreciation.  You see, many of our Veterans have borne the experience of their service privately and not expecting much else.  However, when thanked by appreciative strangers of all ages, those previously private Veterans have graciously accepted those kind gestures extended to them with pride as huge smiles come across their faces.  Such feelings and smiles are mutual for those giving thanks.   And certainly for us volunteers too which is why these are such fond memories.  And those memories are further deepened when on many of these occasions, we see those tough but now gentle warriors come to tears.  And don’t be surprised that others watching on do too!
It’s not only at the memorials in DC that such gratitude can be extended to our Veterans.  It can be done right here in our home town or wherever it is you travel.  If you see someone wearing a hat or shirt emblazoned with US military insignias, you can bet he or she is a Veteran.  Please don’t be shy or embarrassed to approach that Veteran to offer a handshake or a simple thank you for their service regardless of where or when they served.  Your words will make a tremendous difference to them.  And to you too!
Thank you!
Neil Allen
Sidney, OH

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