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Respecting vets

Each year, we turn our eyes to those who have worn or wear military uniforms. On Memorial Day, we show our respect to those who gave their life in service. Armed Forces Day recognizes the commitment of those currently serving. This Friday, on Veterans Day, we honor all who have worn the nation’s uniforms.

On each of those days, we take time to recognize all who are serving, have served and those who never returned. We can never thank enough those who left their homes to answer an unknown challenge. We owe them our gratitude, too. They have given up things in their life to accept that challenge. Some have lost limbs; others have lost their lives. Some invested their talents for years instead of greater monetary reward in the private sector.

We should not forget to express our appreciation to family members of those who have served. Parents, siblings, spouses and children have lost precious time away from loved ones. It is always emotional when we hear stories of soldiers returning home to a baby they could not be with at birth, or a wife who must not only care for a family, but may also serve as caregiver for a husband who was seriously injured while serving.

As a parent of a son who is currently serving a two-year tour of duty outside the country, I know the feelings Jessie and I have as we approach the holidays and birthdays. Thankfully, he is not stationed in the Middle East. We do, however, understand the constant fear of the families of those who are in more dangerous locations.

On Dec. 8, at 9:30 a.m., Virginia will kick off a remembrance of those who served in World War II. The event will be held in the University of Richmond basketball facility, chosen because of the ease for those with mobility problems.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.