By Pete Wheeler
There are more than 23 million veterans living nationwide, more than 23 million people to whom we owe gratitude for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.
As we once again observe Veterans Day in the United States of America, we honor these brave men and women, each of whom swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws of this great nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Let us never forget the blank check each of them wrote to us, at the value of their lives, in service to our nation.
Many have suffered the shock and pain of combat. Some have become disabled for life; many have made the ultimate sacrifice. All who served have given up some of the best years of their life.
Now, on this day, it is a small but important matter for us to simply say “thank you” to these courageous Americans.
We support you, and we stand behind you — those who stood between us and harm.
And thank you to those serving in our armed forces today, for today’s service members are tomorrow’s veterans. As we honor our veterans today, we set an example for how we will receive this next generation of America’s heroes, who continue by their actions the long and honorable chain of service that stretches back to the dawn of this great nation.
America has been honored by the service of its veterans, and it will continue to be as the great people of this great nation step forward to serve, and we all remember what is owed to them.
Pete Wheeler is commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, the state government agency working on behalf of Georgia’ s 776,000-plus veterans and their families. For information on how GDVS can assist, please visit http://veterans.georgia.gov.