Chris Bingham is our county’s Veterans’ Service Officer. On November 11, he gave a speech. His boss sent the text of it out to some of us at work because it was so touching.
I won’t reproduce the whole thing, but here are the paragraphs that reached out to me, in the wake of the Fort Hood killings and the whole uncertainty of Afghanistan:
“We pause today to honor our Veterans… Veterans and their families who have paid the ultimate price for their service… Veterans who paid a great price and walk among us visibly disabled… Veterans who paid a great price and walk among us with invisible disabilities which haunt their daily existence… we honor those who served but are unscathed by their service. We honor those who served during times of peace; who were awake, on watch throughout the world, so the rest of us could sleep in peace.
Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines put their lives and career aspirations on hold. They gave us a part of their life as an insurance policy to protect our nation. They signed a blank check… payable to the United States of America… for an amount up to and including their life.
Our debt to these men and women is care for their wounds, a few meager Veterans benefits, and most importantly the thanks of a grateful nation. I ask that you to influence your family, friends and local community to continue to honor this special day.”