A special day for veterans

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

By Chris Quilpa

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I formally ended with the signing of an armistice between the Allied troops and Germany. Thus, on Nov. 11 each year, we commemorate Veterans Day, to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Veterans Day is a special day to honor and thank, to remember our veterans for their service and sacrifices.

Our veterans are unsung heroes, freedom fighters and lovers, peacemakers and keepers. They are role models of nationalism and patriotism, service and sacrifice, courage and commitment, excellence and leadership.

Veterans — gone, alive and active — have contributed to peace, security, safety, and order not only in our country but throughout the world. With unquestionable courage and commitment, they have been helpful in preserving our freedom, liberty and democracy. They have been partners in nation-building and have helped in humanitarian efforts to alleviate the harsh conditions of other countries.

In times of war and peace, our veterans have always been out there ready to do the mission they were entrusted to do with utmost precision, professionalism and “can-do” attitude. Whether in the battlefield or offices or hospitals or anywhere they work, at home or abroad, they believe that when there’s teamwork, the mission is accomplished.

Our veterans have been hailed as heroes because of their courageous act of valor in various venues, conflicts, crises and conditions that propelled them to put their life in danger just to do their job, to save a life or lives, or a country in turmoil. They are true heroes who have done the extra mile out of love and service to save and to protect our people, our country from the enemy.

Our veterans have worked hand in hand with our allies to preserve peace, maintain order and bring stability to our world that is constantly beset with crises and threats.

To all of us who honor, respect and value our veterans, let us do all that we can to help them make their lives better and to cherish and preserve their memories for our next generation. Let us remember their ultimate service and sacrifices. May we emulate them for their exemplary bravery and service to our nation. May they be always a source of hope and inspiration to us all. May we continue to pray for and take good care of them because they deserve a life of dignity wherever they may be — in a hospital, at home or in a nursing home. May we always be ready to assist them when they’re in need and be grateful to them for the good that they do and have done for our sake.

I thank God for all of our veterans. I thank my fellow veterans brother Zaldy and brother-in-law Dennis, who also retired from the U.S. Navy here in Virginia. I’d like to thank my friend Mike, a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, and his family. Likewise, a special mention goes to my fellow retired U.S. Navy veterans Rudy and Chuck, and Aerock (an Army vet) and their respective families. I can’t thank them enough for helping and welcoming me and my family back to our community. We are again their (wayward or long lost) neighbors! Surely, we have a lot to catch up with now that we reconnected with them. Thanks, shipmates!

Thank you to our friend Charles, a U.S. Army veteran, for his untiring love and service to his family; retired U.S. Navy veteran Deacon Mark of the cluster parishes of Portsmouth and Chesapeake. Thanks to our veteran service members-parishioners in our faith community. I am also grateful to my fellow retired Navy vets and X-ray techs at NMCP like Gerry, Nestor, Clarence and Geronimo. Thanks for your service, too, and the memories we have shared working together for our patients and healthcare beneficiaries.

Happy Veterans Day, everyone!

 

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk and Portsmouth. Email him at chris.a.quilpa@gmail.com.