It's just a few days away. On Veteran's Day this year, the station undertakes the Operation Heroes live event. Though, our efforts to help the Valor Home of Summit County is a year-long labor of love for our veterans. On Saturday (11/11), we'll be broadcasting live as a team from the Lowe's on S. Arlington in Green from 9am-6pm. We hope to see you and thank you in person for donating to this organization that helps our veterans locally. Your money will stay right here to help them get back on their feet again as they re-familiarize themselves with integrating back into society again. No donation you make is too small. It all matters, so don't feel like you don't have enough to give. You do. It's our way of saying "thank you" collectively when those words don't seem like enough to truly express the gratitude we feel for the sacrifices that these men and women and their families make-- to serve our country; to provide freedom for those they don't know personally, but for an ideology we all believe in.
My love and concern for veterans is personal. My father is a Vietnam vet. He served in the Army-- the Big Red One-- though he entered the military not to fight, but to become a mechanic. But in times of war, everyone in the military took up weapons and fought, and my father was placed on the front lines. I can't even wrap my mind around how frightening it must have been for a 19-year-old to enter a life-or-death situation for a number of years. My father earned a purple heart and two bronze stars for his bravery and heroism-- saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. I will never forget the story of my dad being wounded. He was hurting. It was terribly hot. The sun was blazing down, and my dad was getting ready to go into shock. He knew if that happened, he would die. He prayed to God for some water to cool him down-- to keep him alive. At that moment, one dark cloud floated over my father. It rained on him-- and his life was spared.
I never tire hearing my dad's war stories. I've heard them a million times. And each time, I listen with fresh ears-- as if I'd never heard them before. I still marvel at his strength, because I don't know if I could have endured what he did at his age and survived. My dad struggled when he returned home from the war. There weren't parades and cheers for Vietnam vets. It was quite the opposite. My dad struggled with PTSD, but that wasn't a "thing" then. But the love of my mother and the grace of God got him through those times.
This is why supporting an organization like the Valor Home is so important. These warriors fought for us, and we need to fight for them. I hope you can join us in our way of saying "thank you". If you can't make it in person Saturday, you can donate online at wone.net through the end of November.
Thank YOU for all that you do. We're all in this thing together.