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We want to take a moment and thank our very own Drew Wenzel for serving as a helicopter pilot and aviation officer in the United States Army. Through two combat tours in Iraq, Drew amassed over 150 combat flight hours and earned an air medal for overseas combat service. After nearly eight years of service, Drew resigned his military commission at the rank of Captain. 

For Drew, patriotism means more than the love of country. It means more than saying to a veteran “Thank you for your service” even though veterans appreciate that acknowledgment.  As citizens, our duty is to be informed. And we must be intellectually curious and resist the urge to oversimplify issues that are complex in our world today. So, how do we show support and gratitude for our veterans? Drew submits that we do that by participating.  Not only by volunteering to serve in armed forces, but by participating in our other civic institutions. It is our duty to become informed and engaged in civil discourse. If you feel passionate about a local issue, you should engage your local councilperson. If there is a state or federal issue that you have an idea about, you should contact your local congressman or legislator.  In short, we honor veterans by actively participating in institutions that they volunteer to protect.  It’s important to remember patriotism means service over self. We also must remember to remain civil even in our small communities. We should never lose sight of respecting each other’s opinions.

“I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve in the United States Army and it was a great honor to attend an institution like West Point. It’s such a historic place dripping with military tradition. I found myself honored to be counted among the names such as Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas McArthur, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Buzz Aldrin, who are all graduates of West Point.  It was quite a humbling experience.” 

Drew Wenzel

How will you show appreciation for a veteran’s service and sacrifice?