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This weekend is an exceptionally special weekend for all those who have served or currently serve in uniform as it’s an opportunity to honor them as our nation observes Veterans Day.

This day, which began as Armistice Day, started as a celebration of the peace that followed the conflict of World War I. In the following years, it evolved into Veterans Day, a day to honor those who have served, and now serve, in uniform, as well as those who died in service to our country.

While some may have attempted to assess what drives anyone to raise their right hand and swear to the defense of our Constitution and our collective values as a nation, we couldn’t be any more fortunate than to have the brave men and women who have dedicated their years – and as is usually the case, their most vibrant years – to a cause much greater than any singular pursuit.

Over the course of our nation’s military history we have gone from the infancy of a guerrilla-like fighting force confronting British ‘Red Coats’ to neutralizing and repealing German and Japanese aggression of WWII, to more recently taking a fighting stance against the menacing and barbaric tendencies of ISIS.

In order to accomplish our national strategic objectives throughout past and present conflicts, our nation has invested in personnel and equipment, to name a few, with a corresponding and inherently special byproduct – our Veterans.

Our neighboring communities and greater Kings County are no strangers to the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. For close to 60 years our installation has benefited tremendously from the support of our neighbors. In turn, many veterans who have served on board NAS Lemoore have decided to call this place home upon retiring – further solidifying the bond between us and our staunch supporters.

Even in military-centric communities, while it may appear that there are many who currently serve, we still comprise less than one percent of the total population. As history is written, I believe that there will be a special chapter dedicated to the extraordinary ratio of those who have defended versus those who did not have to. This is testament of what a nation is capable of when it most matters.

 Additionally, I would admit that serving in our military is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Every single one of us will be affected by some level of stress throughout our military careers. Some of that stress can be work related. Other times the stress can be due to some particular circumstance. Regardless, I need all veterans to know that we care. Just like the continuous investment in personnel and equipment helps us evolve into a more agile and lethal fighting force, there is also investment in services designed to address the specific needs of our veterans.

It is incumbent upon us to honor and cherish this special breed of Americans; and, to all Veterans reading this, it is incumbent upon you to do everything you can to take care of yourself. We support you and we are here for you.

There is an overwhelming abundance of examples of the dedication and sacrifice of our veterans to reflect on this coming Monday. As we do, let’s never forget those who have served before us, currently serve, and will someday serve.

The American Legion Post 100 will host a Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2018, 6 p.m. on D Street in Lemoore. I hope to see you there.

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Happy Veterans Day!

Captain David James

Commanding Officer, NAS Lemoore

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