Armed forces.

"Thank you to our veterans for all that you and your family have done for our country."

Thank you to our veterans for all that you and your family have done for our country. You have liberated oppressed people, helped save people from disasters around the world and have been the line that protected us. From a time before the United States of America became a nation, millions answered the call when we needed them to serve, millions were drafted and millions more chose to serve. Each of them has earned and deserves our gratitude.

Military service is a calling for many. They voluntarily choose to endure rigorous physical and mental training, relocate whenever and wherever the “boss” tells them to go, work where hepatitis, typhoid and other diseases appear after a disaster, or live in extreme weather environments where evil factions intend them harm. It takes a special person to enter that life.

Closer to home, why do firefighters run into burning buildings or rescue a senior citizen who falls at home? Why are police officers willing to face armed robbers one moment and spend time teaching school kids about “stranger danger” the next moment? What about the EMTs checking on that senior citizen who fell or tirelessly trying to resuscitate an infant injured in a car crash?  Just like our veterans, it takes a special person with a caring mind and heart to do this.

That caring mind and heart can be found in each of us whether embedded in our lifestyles or rising inside us when needed, like when a disaster happens. You’ve seen news stories about average people coming to the rescue after a flood, fire or earthquake. I would hope you have never been or will never be in a life-threatening situation. In our day-to-day life, lending a hand is a way a community stays strong. It’s each of us looking out for each other and making that effort to be involved. It’s how we can make that positive difference without running into a fire, gunfire, or worse. 

I extend the thanks in the first paragraph to our brothers and sisters currently serving in one of our five military branches. As Thanksgiving and the other holidays draw closer, remember to say “thank you” to our military, first responders and their families for keeping us safe and protected while we celebrate. 

John Safin is president/CEO of the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call him at 623-932-2260 or  602-919-7134 or visit southwestvalleychamber.org.