Local officials thank service members, vetsWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
A debt of gratitude
Since the founding of the United States of America, millions of men and women have answered the call to arms to defend democracy both at home and abroad. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, as they have fought for freedom, liberty and peace. We also recognize the sacrifices made by the families of those who have served in our nation’s military. They have experienced loss, pain and sadness in the absence of their loved ones. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to all those who have served, and continue to serve, in our armed forces so that we can live free. As a reminder of the price we pay for our freedoms, we have an obligation to honor the valor of each and every veteran. We thank all veterans for their service to our country. Your sacrifice, selflessness and commitment to our country will never be forgotten. Thank you for all that you have done, and all that you continue to do for our state, nation and world.
JOHN KASICH, Governor
Working toward justice
There are nearly 900,000 Ohio veterans who selflessly served to protect our freedoms and procure peace. That is why I’m honored to serve on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where I’m the first Ohioan to serve a full term. This committee is about helping to ensure veterans receive the benefits and services they’ve earned.
This past month, my colleagues and I passed bipartisan legislation that would allow veterans who face long delays to obtain care outside of the VA; and authorize funds to help the VA immediately hire new doctors and nurses.
Further, several key pieces of legislation I originally sponsored recently passed the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The total package would help expedite VA claims to reduce the backlog and double the enrollment window for healthcare benefits for active duty, reserve, and guard service members following deployment. As Co-Chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus, I’m also committed to preserving important work at Ohio’s military installations, including the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo.
The Fourth of July is about celebrating our independence and the liberties American service members defend. We should remember to thank our service members, veterans, and their families for their sacrifice.
SHERROD BROWN, U.S. Senator
A little inspiration
When 9-year-old Myles Eckert thanked Lt. Col. Frank Dailey for his service in a Maumee, Ohio Cracker Barrel earlier this year, he taught us all a lesson about what we owe to those who defend our freedoms. It’s a lesson that Myles, despite his age, knows all too well. His father, Army Sgt. Andy Eckert, was killed in Iraq only five weeks after his son was born. So when Myles saw an opportunity to thank a soldier, he took it.
The men and women who have fought for us are not strangers. They are our friends and our children, our brothers and our sisters, our fathers and our mothers. Now they are joining the ranks of our veterans, almost a million in Ohio alone. They deserve our support and our gratitude.
Myles gave a twenty dollar bill to a soldier who reminded him of his dad, but he couldn’t have imagined what would follow. Inspired by his story, Americans donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a charity that helps gold star kids like Myles.
So thank a veteran. You never know when the smallest of actions can have the biggest consequences.
ROB PORTMAN, U.S. Senator
Remembering Honor Flight
Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio will make its final journey to our nation’s capital this summer. The organization has flown nearly 2,000 World War II veterans to visit their memorial, a tangible evidence that their service to our nation will not be forgotten. I recently had the privilege of joining hundreds of flag-waving family, friends and volunteers gathered at Toledo Express Airport to greet a returning flight. As a band played patriotic music, veterans entered, some walking, some in wheelchairs. Everything about the event felt right, and it left a profound impression on me. Those among us who step out from civilian life to serve our nation deserve support and honor. We must provide the men and women of our armed forces and their families with services to meet their needs both while on duty and when they return to civilian life. And, as Honor Flight so aptly illustrates, we must always remember, with gratitude, the debt we owe to those who answer our nation’s call to service.
SANDY SPANG, Toledo City Councilwoman
We should always remain thankful for the women and men who entered the armed forces in defense of our country and liberty. We owe a special debt of gratitude to those who made an ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the United States.
JACK FORD, Toledo City Councilman
A heartfelt thank you
The Board of Lucas County Commissioners and its employees extend a heartfelt thank you to the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the military on behalf of the United States of America. We also recognize the sacrifice that military families make on a daily basis to support their loved ones. The collective sacrifice and dedication of our local service men and women are in our thoughts. On behalf of the citizens of Lucas County, we extend our deepest appreciation for all that you do for our community and country.
CAROL CONTRADA, TINA SKELDON WOZNIAK and PETE GERKEN, Lucas County Board of Commissioners
Editor’s Note: Toledo Free Press invited local elected officials to share thoughts on the U.S. military. Compiled by Toledo Free Press Staff Writer Sanya Ali