It’s Veterans Day. Our blog today is not about cars, vehicle maintenance or tires. Today is special to me and a lot of folk. It’s November 11 and it’s not just another ‘date’ on the calendar. Sometimes we forget how significant Veteran’s Day really is and needs to be. For the last several generations a member of our family has served in the military; me in the Marines back in the late seventies/early eighties. I did so at the time because I felt this crazy need, an obligation at the ripe old age of 18, to serve my country. To me it seemed like the right thing to do at a time when ‘serving your country’ was NOT a popular choice or sentiment among my peers. I’ve never regretted that decision.

For some reason this morning, as I heard a radio DJ pop off a quick Happy Veteran’s Day to his listeners, it hit me that maybe, just maybe, we should take that extra moment to realize how significant this often glazed-over holiday really is. The amazing things that we love about this country—the diversity of our people, our freedoms, and the beauty of our 50 united states; the things we dislike and all the things in between—we enjoy because men and women for the last nearly 2 ½ centuries have served in our armed forces to protect what we so often take for granted.

In my travels around the globe, no place has the freedom and opportunities that we enjoy here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. And while our people and systems are not perfect; we still have the best out there. Our veterans have served to help preserve those systems, our ideals and the dreams and aspirations of our founding fathers. We exist today in this free state because of our selfless veterans. So, to all my fellow vets out there, we salute you and thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts. “We the people” get to live in the greatest free nation on the planet because of your sacrifice and service, where freedom has never come without significant cost.

Al Pridemore,
Sergeant, USMC, 1977-1981