Where does one begin in understanding the consequences of war for the service member or their families? The only place you can begin with is “Thank you.” We thank them with full honesty in our hearts for the sacrifice and loss given. We also thank them with full appreciation for the gift given to us that retains our freedoms. Sometimes we feel that we haven’t done enough or shown our appreciation enough to our veterans, especially when we find them homeless or improperly cared for in hospitals.
We are a nation that champions and protects many underdogs. We Feed the Children, buy Toys for Tots... we Stop Animal Cruelty and we Relay For Life... all worthy, without doubt.
I suppose when it comes to veterans, I have a special place in my heart for them. My grandfathers, father, brother, cousins and my best friend have always been reminders of why we can focus on beautiful charities that aid children, animals and the sick... we are free to do so.
Please consider this excerpt from the VFW magazine from 1992, as we honor today, those who were held prisoner and those who are missing:
“Some men left the column when they saw water. Guards yelled and began to hit them with rifle butts or clubs,” remembers Las Vegan Cornelius Gallegos, a Bataan veteran. “The sun and dust took their toll of the starving and thirst-crazed men. They began falling along the side of the road, as sadistic guards hit and kicked them back into the columns.”
Then Pfc. Cletis Overton (Note: Overton is the last remaining Bataan death March survivor and a resident of Malvern) remembers passing several artesian wells near the roads. “They’d make us sit there looking and listening to those wells for an hour or two. Then they’d move us along without any water.”
To read the rest of this article please see the Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 edition.