A veteran I met recently, upon hearing that I was new to the South, said to me, "I'm glad you got to see God's country before you die", and I heartily agreed. I'm happy to be advocating for veterans in a God-loving, patriotic region of the country.
Last month I attended the Grand Opening of the Myrtle Beach Vet Center. I met a range of veterans; from a young man recently returned from Iraq and working on resuming his education to a gentleman who despite his age and disablities told me with passion that he would still be over in the Middle East if he could be. How humbling to meet such truly great Americans.
There is a mural of our brave men and women on display at the Myrtle Beach Vet Center which includes a quote I hadn't seen before, and that I feel compelled to post here because it rang so absolutely true.
IT IS THE SOLDIER
It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion. It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army