This Veteran’s Day I had the opportunity to attend four Veteran’s Day events to honor our men and women of service. This was an incredible opportunity to meet an array of those in service, as well as their families and friends.
Speaking to these people made their sacrifices more real to me than ever. Even those who hadn’t served spoke of the time spent worrying about their loved ones who were overseas. For every service member, there is a brother, sister, mother, friend and child whose life is affected by their duty.
One interaction particular stood out to me. Veteran James Hurtt was surrounded by a group of friends at the Denison Veteran’s Day parade. He was laughing and joking while he waited for the parade to begin.
Having served twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan, Hurtt openly admitted to suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He said he loves Veteran’s Day because it help give him perspective.
He spoke about the fact that so many of the veterans at the parade fought in wars like Vietnam where they were without the body armor and other equipment provided to the military today. He said they sacrificed and experienced more than him and that he was there to pay respect to them.
Hurtt went on to say that interacting with other veterans, particularly ones older than him helps comes to terms with his own time spent in service. He finds comfort in the camaraderie and the strength of the other men and women.
I couldn’t believe what a selfless and positive attitude he had. Rather than focusing on his own sacrifices, he found joy and comfort in the support of his fellows. And in return, his best friend from high school was by his side in support of him.
This conversation cemented for me the necessity of these events and other organizations and events like them. It goes beyond the community honoring their service. It is the sense of community, support, connection and camaraderie that our military veterans need.
Happy birthday Sunday to Barbara Boland and Aaliyha Jones Baker, both of Sherman; Jerry McAlister of McAllen; and Ava Butler of Van Alstyne.
Happy anniversary Sunday to Jim and Peggy Walsh Morrison, 61 years.
Happy birthday Monday to Kay England of Denison.
Happy anniversary Monday to Tommy and Cathy Johnson of Sherman, 40 years.