Ray Beck: A tribute to our military
May 27, 2011
To the editor:
I can remember from 1968 to 1970 when the military draft was in effect and many of my classmates were drafted into the military.
My draft number never came up, so I did not serve this great nation in that capacity.
I have always been very thankful for those young men and women who were either drafted or volunteered to serve their country by putting on a military uniform and fighting for the U.S. Constitution and our freedoms here in America.
I have wanted for a long time to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all those individuals who have served or are now serving this great nation, who protect us from other nations that want to do us harm.
I honor those fallen soldiers who have paid the ultimate price by giving their lives.
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America derives its laws from the Constitution. It derives its values from the Bible.
We don't get inalienable rights from the Constitution; we get them from God.
My father-in-law, Donald H. Flint, served in World War II in the U.S. Army and was awarded for his Extraordinary Heroism in Action at Bamban, Luzon and the Philippine Islands.
He received four Battle Stars, the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.
My dad, Roy W. Beck, served during World War II in the U.S. Army, building airfields from 1942 to 1945 in the Southwest Pacific.
He received the American Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star, the Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Both of these honorable men are in the World War II Registry at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit the World War II Memorial, it is a tribute to those men and women who have unselfishly served our country, protecting us and our freedom here in America.
I remember this quote: "A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to and including his/her life."
That is honor.
Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before in our thoughts.
They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy today.
As a final thought on my part, let me share a favorite prayer: "Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home or overseas. Hold them in your loving hands and protect them as they protect us."