‘Yes we can’ true because of veterans

Published 8:07 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

As a native-born Suffolkian and a transplanted Central Texan, I observed Tuesday’s Veterans Day holiday by witnessing a military parade.

Units from America’s Third Phantom Warrior Corps, high school JROTC units, and Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts marched in cadence to the precision marches of the 1st Cavalry Division Army Band.

As a military retiree, I felt a great sense of pride and patriotism. The parade excited me as if I were a kid on my dad’s shoulder, watching the East Suffolk High School band marching in a Downtown Suffolk Christmas Parade.


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To be an American during this historic time in history is truly surreal. A hopeful message of “Yes, We Can!” permeates the hopes and dreams of Americans everywhere. Yet we have many challenges.

The 2008 Central Texas Veterans Day Parade was represented by five generations of war veterans — World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storm/Iraqi Freedom.

For the eighth holiday season in a row, we have soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines serving in combat zones.

Suffolkians of the Whaleyville Borough were fortunate to have had two military veterans as candidates for City Council. Mr. Quigley served in the U.S. Navy, and Mr. Milteer is a Korean War Veteran.

I have never met Mr. Quigley. Councilman Milteer is my paternal uncle. As a child, I listened with awe to Uncle Curtis’ recollection of a bitter Korean winter in the demilitarized zone. Strangely, he always smiled when discussing his war experiences, even the hardships.

What’s my point? “Yes, We Can!” That mantra, as ushered in by President-Elect Barack Obama, is how we get things done.

The beauty of it all is that both Mr. Quigley and Mr. Milteer served our country honorably via military service, so that, Suffolkians, Virginians, Texans and Americans would have the privilege to make their own individual political choices.

The 2008 elections have passed; the real work has yet to begin. “Yes, We Can!” is perhaps more important today than at any time in American’s modern history.