HONORING OUR NATION’S VETERANS
By: Senator Phillip Wheeler
November 9, 2023
As Veterans Day approaches, I reflect on the immeasurable courage and sacrifice exhibited by our military members. Author and philosopher G.K. Chesterton once said, “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” It takes an exceptional individual to leave the comforts of home, family, and the peaceful corners of Kentucky to serve in the military, embodying unbridled bravery and selflessness. Veterans are heroes deserving of our deepest gratitude.
Veterans understand the unique bond and ‘esprit de corps’ that military service instills. Transitioning from highly intense and often stressful roles back to civilian life in Kentucky can be daunting. Many veterans grapple with the scars of war, both visible and invisible. As a community, it’s our collective duty to ensure they receive the support and care they deserve.
Veterans Day holds a sacred place in our history. It’s a day when hostilities ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the end of World War I. As your state senator, I am proud to support policies that make Kentucky a better place for veterans and their families. Let’s stand together, not just on Veterans Day but every day, to honor their sacrifices and create a nation where our heroes are cherished, respected, and provided for.
Like many of you, Crystal and I have members of our family who served our country in the armed forces and we are proud of their service. My late maternal grandfather Clarence Boggs served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict while my late father-in-law Thomas Epling recounted many cold and freezing night as he also fought in America’s “Forgotten War.” We are both proud to come from a nation where successive generations have always answered the call to defend freedom in the world and have endeavored to instill these patriotic values and respect for our soldiers in our son Weston.
Join me in honoring the 16.5 million U.S. veterans among us by actively participating in local parades and ceremonies this weekend. In closing, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all veterans, past and present. Your bravery serves as a beacon of hope. May God bless our veterans, our commonwealth, and the United States of America.
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Senator Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, represents Kentucky’s 31st Senate District, including Elliott, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin, and Pike Counties. Wheeler is a member of the Interim Joint Committees on Economic Development and Workforce Investment; Transportation; Natural Resources and Energy; Judiciary; Tourism, Small Business and Information Technology, and State Government. Additionally, he is the Co-Chair of the Capital Planning Advisory Board. Lastly, Wheeler was recently appointed to the Jail and Corrections Reform and Local Government Annexation Task Forces.