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By Pat Lisi/Southern Utah Vets Aid

Every year we take the second week of November to honor our American veterans.  What a great thing to do!  You know the old saying, “Freedom isn’t free.”  What that means is that hundreds of thousands of veterans have given their lives in foreign lands to help keep the rest of us truly free; free from tyranny, free from oppression, free to live the kind of lives we choose to lead, not what someone else dictates to us.

Here in Southern Utah and the Saint George area, veterans day is celebrated all over town with parades, with discounts from local businesses to veterans, and in the form of speeches and praises by the mayors, the teachers, and the clergy.  Utah is very friendly to veterans and most of us seize the opportunities that this state offers us.  Veterans in Utah are well liked and treated with respect and dignity.  Almost everyone in Southern Utah heads out to some event this week to help add their voices to the throngs of celebrants.

My wife and I moved to Utah for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons was the way they treat veterans here.  And, it doesn’t matter what branch of the service you were in.  Veterans are heroes to the citizens of Utah and I enjoy living among so many appreciative people.  You simply don’t mess with veterans or their benefits in Utah, and that holds double for Southern Utah and St. George.

As you celebrate veterans week keep in mind the sacrifices that we’ve made in the name of freedom.  It isn’t a joke, it’s real.  And, even if you do not agree with how wars have been handled or the politics of war, at least pray for the men and women who are off and away in foreign lands fighting for you.  All of these warriors deserve the recognition for stepping up and doing what they think is right.  If you have a veteran in your family be sure to thank that person.  If you are a veteran, I wish to give you my thanks right now.  I’m a veteran, too, and you make me proud to associate with you and be counted in the same group.  Welcome home!

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