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Military

Honoring those who served

The Thornton Veterans Memorial in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Thornton Veterans Memorial in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

For nearly 240 years, brave men and women have answered the call to service and donned the uniforms of this nation’s military. Like myself and my family, millions of veterans have served this nation in all capacities.

No matter their assigned job, they have served with honor, courage and commitment from back here in the states to places overseas like Tora Bora, Fallujah, Normandy, Anzio, Guadalcanal, Khe Sanh, Inchon and many other God-forsaken hell holes across the globe.

Each has made their own sacrifices for God and country. Sacrifices of time, mind, body and soul.

All of us, all veterans, believe in this country and believe in the cause.

I, as they do, firmly believe that the United States of #America is a beacon for all others – where we lead, others follow because the liberties and freedom we have and offer are cherished by all beings and are a God given right.

That spirit of patriotism and loyalty echoes loudly throughout the hills of Arlington National Cemetery and in the voices of veterans you can talk to today.

Our service men and women are the finest examples of what this great nation stands for and all are worthy of the highest praise and greatest honors.

Please take time today to remember the veterans of this great nation and what they have given to all of us – our very freedom and freedom to millions of others.

Persian Gulf sunrise aboard the USS Carl Vinson

One for Throwback Thursday. Taken in August 1996 while in the Persian Gulf conducting Operation Desert Strike. The ‘island’ of the massive aircraft carrier and F/A-18 Hornet and EA-6B Prowler aircraft are silhouetted by the rising sun.

Combat operations were taking place against Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein’s genocidal attacks against Kurds in nation’s north. Tensions were further heightened by the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia two months before that killed 19 U.S. service members.

For those that don’t know, I served six years in the +U.S. Navy primarily working on the electronics on S-3B Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Lots of stories from those days and I am proud to have served my nation.

The sun rises behind the USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf in 1996. (© Tony’s Takes)

The sun rises behind the USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf in 1996. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise honors

Thornton Veterans Memorial, Colorado . This local veterans memorial is one that is particularly special to me as I was chairman of the group that worked for years to fund and build it.

In the foreground you see the winged angel, ‘Grace’, releasing a dove carrying dog tags aloft. In the background you see the flag poles and in between them is a 9′ 11″ high five-sided obelisk. On it are inscribed core values of United States military service: Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice, Duty, Courage.

Thornton Veterans Memorial, Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Thornton Veterans Memorial, Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A morning with the nation’s heroes

I went to Fort Logan National Cemetery this morning to see my dad as well as thousands of others of our nation’s heroes.  Memorial Day is, in my opinion, one of the most important holidays in the United States.

So many have served and sacrificed for this great nation.  My dad, my uncles, my nieces and nephews and I have all proudly worn our nation’s uniforms.

We all have come home.  So many do not.  It is for these men and women, those who gave that ‘last full measure of devotion’ that Memorial Day is for.

A heroic sunrise at Fort Logan National Cemetery. (© Tony’s Takes)

A heroic sunrise at Fort Logan National Cemetery. (© Tony’s Takes)