Letter to the Editor: Appreciate those who have served this country

To the Editor:

Yesterday, I received an email from my brother’s daughter, Holly. It is about her father, Gerald.

I believe that her sentiments express those of so many children of parents who have served our country in uniform. I thought of how happy Gerald would be if he could read what Holly has written about him here. Regrettably, she can’t tell him now; he and Holly’s mother were killed in a car accident several years ago.

The reason I am submitting this in The Standard is that I’m hoping that maybe someone will read this and consider telling a parent how much you appreciate that he or she served our country. If you do, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that they didn’t even think you had noticed.

Here’s part of what Holly wrote:

My dad was a Veteran of the United States Army. As long as I could remember, a photo of him in uniform was displayed proudly in my childhood home. A little poem was always tucked in the corner that described what a soldier is. It still makes me cry when I read it! It sums up who my dad was! He was a gentle giant...soft spoken, witty, and oh, so kind!

His “papers”, as he’d call them, from Uncle Sam were waiting for him when he and my mom got home from their honeymoon. He was not a “lifer”.  He didn’t “Re-Up”, as he’d say to his Army buddy, Dennis. He served his time because it was the right thing to do, and he was so proud to do it.

On Veteran’s Day, as with every other day, I am thankful... thankful for my Dad who was willing to fight for mine and my daughters’ freedoms even though it wasn’t comfortable for him, and it wasn’t a path he would have chosen. He did it anyway. I’m thankful for the men and women who serve and have served our country... to protect our freedoms and our rights.

God Bless You and your families who have sacrificed more than I will ever know or understand,

Holly Mangelsen

Submitted by
Bob Erickson