Thankfulness: A US Veteran’s Perspective

Thankfulness:  Awareness and appreciation of a benefit.   Expressive of gratitude.

This year I am thankful for the love and support of my family and friends. I am also very appreciative for the freedom we have in the United States and feel that it should never be taken for granted.

As a US Army veteran who served in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, I have seen first hand countries and governments that limit the freedoms and rights of a large percent of their populations.  I am proud and grateful to be US citizen with certain unalienable rights:  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I believe that we should be thankful for our active duty service men and women who are deployed in various conflicts around the world.  These brave Americans have volunteered to put their lives on the line to ensure that our country remains strong and free.  They are sacrificing their own personal freedoms and comforts so you don’t have to. When you thank a Veteran for their service please keep these thoughts in mind.

20131109-4826K-Veteran's Day Celebration-0953-WEB

Members of VFW Post 1 marching in the Veterans Day Parade in Denver. Nov 2013. Photo by Marla Keown.

This year I am thankful for a number of strong non-profit organizations that are tireless in their efforts to help veterans and their families in need.

This year the following organizations stand out as exemplary:

  1. Team Rubicon- Their mission is to unite the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.   Many Colorado flood victims this year were assisted by this great team.
  2.  VFW Post 1– The nation’s first and oldest Veterans of Foreign Wars Post has the youngest and most active membership.  This post in Denver, CO actively supports programs and partners who assist veterans and their families in the community.
  3.  Fisher House Foundation– Best know for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.

US Navy Veteran, Dana Niemela, working with Team Rubicon to help Colorado flood victims. Sep. 2013


4 thoughts on “Thankfulness: A US Veteran’s Perspective

  1. LT Nason: one of the most engaging human beings I’ve known, yet one of the more effective ones as well. It was our rotation for 1st Cavalry Division to train at the National Training Center, and LT Nason was our Node Center (41) and Platoon Leader. Little did we then appreciate that mere weeks following this training, we would be deployed to Operation Desert Shield, and later Desert Storm. To this day, I recall the time and intensity with which LT Nason learned about each soldier in her charge…the conversations, the preparation, and the effort. This later translated into real-world battle-tested success. I was only a PFC then…a very young and inexperienced man – and one who had no idea how much all those experiences would shape the future.

    As I read her blog above, I am reminded of her understated, but highly effective style of communication: outwardly very reassuring and to the point. For those of you who did not have the honor of serving with – or more properly, under the command of – LT Nason, you must know it was her investment of time, tears, and stress that got her soldiers to and from war, and she continues upholding her oath in the support of her fellow veterans even to this day without expectation of remark or recognition. Yet, from first-hand knowledge, she is every bit the courageous hero as those her blog lifts up, and I pray you who encounter these words shall, please, bear witness and take the time to tell her ‘thank you,’ and support her causes. To this end, I am still…

    Respectfully yours,

    James Edwin Whedbee, M.P.A., M.Ed.
    PFC (Ret.d), U.S. Army: A Co 13th Sig Bn 1st Cav Div
    Node Center 41 – Dragonswitch

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