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Take the time to thank a vet

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

This Friday is Veterans Day, a time for us to honor all those who put on a uniform and serve in the military to help protect our country.
Many people confuse this day with Memorial Day, which is the last Monday in May. Memorial Day honors all those who gave their lives in service of their country.
Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors all veterans, living and dead. It’s particularly important to honor those who are still with us. Although they didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice that their deceased comrades made, they still gave up a chunk of their lives to protect and serve. Some came back with lifelong scars, both physical and mental.
Friday’s the day we should let them all know that we appreciate their service, whether in combat or not.
Much attention is paid now to the veterans of World War II, especially with the Honor Flights that have provided them a chance to see a memorial built in Washington, D.C., in the honor of the service of the troops in that war. But, sadly, the number of World War II veterans is thinning out. A simple math deduction shows why: If a person in the military were 18 years old in 1945 when the war ended, he would be 84 years old today.
But there are many veterans of wars and campaigns since then: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. They are still around and, in many cases, active. This is the day to honor them, especially since they are here to receive the praise that they deserve.
So take time this Friday to honor a veteran in the community. As we saw on a bumper sticker once, “If you enjoy your freedom, thank a vet.”