A Veterans Day salute

Published 12:49 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Americans overall are prone to patriotism, but none do a better job of recognizing veterans than the residents of a small town.

The Herald’s community news section overflowed its page Friday due to the number of veteran-related events and celebrations set for this week. Civic clubs, organizations and churches of all denominations planned everything from pancake breakfasts to spaghetti suppers for local veterans free of charge. Many of the schools in our three-county coverage area also scheduled veterans’ events, many featuring local veterans who shared their own personal stories of what it means to serve our country.

On the Crute Stage on Main Street, a Veterans Day observance welcomed the community to recognize local veterans with patriotic music by the Fuqua School Band and remarks from retired Sergeant First Class Amy Morgan whose story of service was featured in a Herald Life feature in September.

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The story of every veteran, in fact, is important. The Rev. Michael Kendall centered his service at Farmville United Methodist Church Sunday on the topic of veterans.

“Many of our veterans are coming home with PTSD,” he said, noting that the suicide rate for veterans is alarming.

Recently the Veterans of Foreign Wars expressed concern over the most recent report from the Veterans Administration. According to the VA, veteran suicides occur at a rate of 22 per day.  

As the wife of a career Naval officer who served in Vietnam and the mother of a disabled veteran who served in Iraq, I am more familiar than most with the stress of military life. I continue to be proud of our community and the many ways we honor veterans. The American spirit residing in towns such as ours is undoubtedly what led to the recent tagline to every presidential address: “God Bless America.”

Marge Swayne is the lifestyles editor for The Herald. Her email address is marge.swayne@farmvilleherald.com.