The Ottumwa Courier

January 26, 2013

Reminder of who the true heroes are


OTTUMWA — Honor, Courage, Patriotism, Faith, SACRIFICE ... these are words that come to mind not only when I think of the National Guard 833rd Engineer Division about to deploy to Afghanistan. They are words that pop into my head when I think of spouses, children, parents, relatives and friends of these brave men and women. How hard must it be to send your loved ones off thousands of miles away into a world unknown and unfathomable to you or me?

I can only imagine the hardship they must face with worry and separation or the pride they must feel every time they see the red, white and blue or hear the “Star Spangled Banner.”

To steal a quote from “My Daddy My Marine” by Tila Jane Solt Lineberry: “To love a hero is one of the single most honorable opportunities one can have, To serve a country through a hero is a feat difficult at best, To support a hero for miles and years of one’s life is granted only to a select few, And to follow a hero and bare the separations are at most times cruel.”

As a veteran myself, I have the utmost respect for these servicemen and women who have answered their call to duty to defend this great United States of America and pray for your safe return. I not only want to thank you for your service, but I want to thank your loved ones here at home for theirs ... you are all true HEROES!

With sincerest gratitude,

Kevin Hatfield