The Union Recorder

December 21, 2013

Remember, express thanks to those who serve our country

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Recently a group of local students took time out to say thanks to some local veterans. It wasn’t Veterans Day or Memorial Day, nor was it the Fourth of July. It was a typical Friday in the school year, but the wisdom these local veterans can provide on history, civics and service to our country undoubtedly surpasses most anything of the sort their textbooks provide because it is brought to life. They had a unique opportunity to hear of service and sacrifice firsthand.

Too often, we pay tribute and remember of veterans on holidays but they often are forgotten during other times of the year. Many of these veterans do not have family in the area and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a difficult time.

Local residents of the Georgia War Veterans Home were gifted with warm socks and sweats by a group of fourth- and fifth-graders from Creekside Elementary School. Most of all, however, they received a gift far more special — a little time and a show of appreciation for their service and sacrifice to our country.

Last weekend programs supporting the Wreaths Across America campaign took place across the nation, recognizing and remembering the service of military personnel with wreaths placed on their graves. Wreaths Across America is a nationwide program started in 1992 at Arlington National Cemetery to honor all those who are buried there. Since that time, national and state veterans cemeteries across the country started similar programs. Locally, the wreaths were made possible through the efforts of the Georgia Military College Prep School’s Raider Team and other entities including the American Legion and the Patriot Guard Riders. The GMC students raised more than $4,000 to assist in the purchase of 400 wreaths.

The act of placing wreaths on the graves of those who sacrificed should serve as a reminder to all of us of their service.

For those living alone or without extended family the holidays are often difficult, but it doesn’t take much for any of us to show we care, particularly to our veterans. This time of year is also a time to remember those who are still serving through care packages and cards. A visit, a card or even a small token of appreciation helps to make the season brighter for those who serve and those who have served.

Every day is a new opportunity to express thanks to those who serve.