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Patriotic Article

By USMC LCpl. Alexandra M. Harris

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Celebrating Freedom: Veterans Day Honors Military
(November 11, 2010)

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. (MCN - 11/9/2010) — Sitting at home, in an old wooden rocking chair with a grandchild on one knee, is a white-haired man who shows the youth one of the few possessions of his younger years – a purple heart.

Americans recognize veterans of all time periods on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

Cities all across the country choose to celebrate Veterans Day in their own way. Locally, the San Diego 2010 Veterans Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. on the corner of Cedar Street and Pacific Highway, near the San Diego Airport.

Charles Wells, a retired Navy petty officer first class, feels Veterans Day is a great time for Americans to recognize those who served in the military. Wells served as a cook aboard the USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown from 1950 to 1971 during the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Veterans are a very important part of our society. They've fought in every war to ensure Americans have freedom. He is very proud to be one of them on Veterans Day, explained Wells.

Veterans Day is also important to military spouses. Deidre Mooney, wife of retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Joel Mooney, who served 25 years in the military, feels Veterans Day is very supportive of those who served in the military.

“One of my girlfriends, whose husband is active duty, was at a drive-through once and the person in front of her paid for their entire meal – just because of the stickers on their car,” she explained. “There are nice people out there who do nice things for service members. We appreciate it. The military was great to us and we're very supportive of veterans.”

Active-duty service members, such as Cpl. Michael Oosterkamp, a 3rd Marksmanship Training Unit instructor at the Carlos Hathcock Range here, also feel strongly about Veterans Day.

“It's a day that gives recognition to those who have fallen and those who are still serving,” said Oosterkamp, who completed three deployments as an infantryman. “It also allows civilians time to reflect on the job the military does for them.”

Today, there is one known living American World War I veteran, and approximately two million living American WWII veterans, two million living American Korean War veterans, seven million living American Vietnam veterans and two million living American Gulf War veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

One of the most prominent events to occur on Veterans Day is when the President lays a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb contains the remains of three anonymous service members from WWI, WWII and the Korea War.

Thanks to the millions of men and women who served this country, Americans continue to enjoy liberty, justice and the right to pursue happiness.
By USMC LCpl. Alexandra M. Harris
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Marine Corps News

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