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Keep Calm & Kerri On / 'Salute to Veterans' – Nov 12, 2020
Norwich, NY
11/09/2020 04:32 PM

                                                                         

                                                                  

Salute to Veterans Bitmoji

Dear Friends,

 

I am a proud Veteran of the United States Army, although I must admit for a long time I didn’t feel like I deserved any recognition for the years I served. Many years ago, I was attending a hockey game with my family, and they asked all the military veterans to stand up and be recognized for their service. Our daughters were with us, and my husband said “That’s you, babe.” I remember saying to him, “They don’t mean me. It’s not like I fought in a war or really did anything important.” My husband got a very serious look on his face (and if you know him, you would know he is rarely serious) and he said “Don’t ever say that again. You stood up and were willing to fight if you were needed. You signed up and served your time. I am so proud of you for doing that and your daughters are too. Stand up and be recognized.” I remember standing up, feeling kind of awkward. I looked down and saw our daughters looking up at me, excited and clapping with everyone else in the arena. The look of pride on his face, and that of my children is something I will never forget. After that, I started looking at my years in service very differently. Yes, I did sign up. Yes, I was trained as a soldier first. Yes, if I was called to active duty I would have gone anywhere, and done anything to serve my country.

 

Over the years I have felt less  awkward when this recognition happens, and the pride I feel grows all the time. I often look back at my time in service and remember how happy I was, how connected I felt and how much I really felt like I belonged. I often credit my now extroverted, “go get ’em” attitude to my time in the service. There’s nothing like sleeping with your M-16 in a pup tent, shooting a grenade launcher, hiking 20 miles with a full ruck sack, and getting smoked in the morning in 100 degree heat to make you have a strong sense of pride, and to say “yeah, I survived that, and I DO rock!”

 

My message this week is for all those who have served, to the families who are here supporting the home front while their loved ones are away and all of the organizations and groups that support our Veteran’s. A special shout out to my friend Joe Coe, who runs the Chenango County Veteran Service Agency … he may be retired Air Force, but he’s still a good guy! (No matter how long it has been, the friendly gibes between service members are always fun.) Joe works tirelessly to support our heroes here at home, and he is among the many that deserve our thanks and support. If you know of a Veteran who needs support or services, please direct them to Joe by calling (607) 337-1770. PTSD is also common among service members returning from active duty, and they are not always willing or able to seek help. There are many services available; for more information on this, check out this helpful website: Military Benefits.

 

I leave you with this poem, in honor of Veterans Day 2020, written by Joanna Fuchs.

 

With a grateful heart,

Kerri

 

The Noble and the Brave: A Veteran's Day Tribute

When America had an urgent need,
These brave ones raised a hand;
No hesitation held them back;
They were proud to take a stand.

They left their friends and family;
They gave up normal life;
To serve their country and their God,
They plowed into the strife.

They fought for freedom and for peace
On strange and foreign shores;
Some lost new friends; some lost their lives
In long and brutal wars.

Other veterans answered a call
To support the ones who fought;
Their country had requirements for
The essential skills they brought.

We salute every one of them,
The noble and the brave,
The ones still with us here today,
And those who rest in a grave.

So here’s to our country’s heroes;
They’re a cut above the rest;
Let’s give the honor that is due
To our country’s very best.

Reference
Kerri Green
607.334.1404
 
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