Opinion: Honoring veterans for 'freedoms we enjoy today'
Fmr. Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson, shares his thoughts on Veterans Day.
Thursday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a national holiday to honor all men and women who served and are now serving in the military. The holiday has many memories for me. I remember when I was a young boy in Dunn Center there was a small building that was used by certain men in the community for their meetings, etc. The walls were lined with pictures of the men in their uniform. It seemed to me that most of the men in the town were members of that origination. I found out later that the origination was the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV). I learned the real purpose of the group and learned to respect these men for the sacrifice they gave for our country.
When I received my (Draft) letter calling me to enter the army, I remembered what one of these men told me as a young boy a few years earlier. He said it was his duty and honor to serve his country as a soldier. He would not regret one day he served in the military. He was right; I would not regret one day I spent in the army. It was not very easy and I experienced some events in Korea that I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience. I did it for my country and am very proud I served my country. I am a better man for it!
I remember other men that served our country that experienced many hardships in the military. One is Calvin L., who was in the Korean War on “Heartbreak Ridge” for a month fighting North Koreans. He suffered frostbite on his feet, shrapnel fire which altered the use of his right hand and lived in a bunker for that whole time. He came home, finished college and was a successful DSU college professor for the rest of his career.
Another man, Tom H., I remember was a prisoner of war in WWII. He suffered hunger and malnutrition as a prisoner. He came home and started his own agriculture feed and supply store, and had a long successful business in Dickinson.
Another man, George O., I remember was also a prison of war in WWII. He was a pilot who flew a bomber and was shot down by enemy fire. He came home, returned to farming and later in life had a successful food retail business in Dickinson.
There is one thing that each of these men had in common: their love for their country. They were humble and very proud to have the opportunity to serve their country! They were not bitter for their experience!
We need more men and women to step up to the plate like these men did to get our country back to what it was at that time. I do see some of this in a few of our leaders today. “There is hope for America!"
I ask each of you to remember Veterans Day and all the men and women who served our country. They are the reason we have the freedoms we enjoy today!