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Honoring Our Veterans
This coming Sunday we recognize the hard work of veterans from around the country. To mark the moment, Georgia Commissioner for Veterans Affairs Pete Wheeler leaves this message.
On Veterans Day, we honor every patriotic man and woman who has ever worn the uniform of our country - Americans who stepped out of the crowd and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This man or woman could be someone in your own family, a neighbor, a friend or even yourself.
On Veterans Day, we join in a common cause, a salute to all who have served together for freedom and for liberty. All have faced the greatest test that can be applied to American citizenship - being willing to risk your life to defend your citizenship. Every man and woman who has put on the wartime military uniform of the United States and served with honor has passed this test of citizenship.
Veterans Day forces most all Americans to pause and reflect on the cost of this test and then say, “Thank You” to this nation’s veterans for their service and sacrifice.
We also want to remember and thank the many men and women who are now serving our country here and around the world. To those young Americans in uniform right now, all around the globe, we say “Godspeed"; our prayers and our sincere wishes for your safe return go out to you.
We must never forget that these heroes are tomorrow’s veterans. We must remember that the way we treat today’s veterans sends a powerful message to our active duty troops about how we will honor their sacrifice after they leave military service.
We may be uncertain about many things in America today, but we should have no reason to be uncertain about the respect and honor we owe to those who have served this nation in times of war.
This selection is an excerpt from a longer message. Read the full message.
About the Author
Pete Wheeler is the Georgia Commissioner for Veterans Affairs. He served in the Army Infantry between 1942 and 1946 and continued to serve in the Georgia Army National Guard until July 1978 when he retired as a Brigadier General.
An attorney and graduate of the University of Georgia, Wheeler has served as a member of the U.S. Veterans Advisory Commission, chairman of the National World War II Memorial Advisory Board and president of the National Association of the State Directors of Veterans Affairs. During the course of his career, he's earned several national recognitions, including the American Legion Gold Honor Medal, the Patrick Henry Award and the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs Lifetime Achievement Award.