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Saying Thanks to Our Military

May 9, 2016
Weekly Columns

Throughout the history of the American military, millions of men and women have volunteered to serve a cause greater than themselves, and their families have offered a similar sacrifice to support them. Given their incredible and selfless contributions to preserving and defending the American way of life every single day, it is only right that we dedicate an entire month to honor them and express our sincerest gratitude. 

Few Americans understand the weight of sacrifice for country more than our military service members, veterans and their families. I grew up surrounded by family members who served, and in seeing their examples, I caught a small glimpse of the selfless burden carried by our military to preserve and defend freedom. Since my dad was career Air Force, many of my brother’s and my childhood memories were made as part of a military family living on various bases in the United States and overseas. Those experiences have always given me great appreciation for the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families.

When service members are deployed overseas or away for long periods of time for training, that is precious time spent away from their spouses, children and other loved ones. Day-to-day commitments that many of us take for granted and even milestone events like the birth of a child are often missed. During such absence that comes with the jobs they volunteered to do, those left at home desperately need the support and love of their friends and neighbors. And that support system is especially critical when our service members return home from war forever changed or don’t return at all.

With numerous military and National Guard installations across the state, Oklahomans have the unique opportunity to reach out and show we care for our friends and neighbors who have answered the call of duty. In fact, the Fourth District is the proud home to both Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City and Fort Sill Army Post in Lawton. Having been in those areas on countless occasions, I have always been impressed by the community-wide support of our military.  

During Military Appreciation Month throughout May, please join me in honoring those who volunteered to keep us safe by risking their lives on our behalf. It is indeed because of their bravery, courage and commitment and the strong support of their families that we can feel at ease with a sense of security that is unheard of in most places around the world. This month and every single day of the year, we have countless reasons to tell our military, “Thank you for your service.”