Yesterday, we celebrated Veteran's day.
Last week, we were reminded of the cost paid by far too many veterans.
Both Jon Hartway and Stien Gearhart were combat veterans. But they didn't die on the field of battle. They died training for the next battle, while flying their Apache attack helicopter just south of their Gowen Field base.
Even in times of "peace," it can be dangerous to serve in the armed forces. For many veterans, it is in the nature of the jobs in which they served that there was a basic danger involved. Whether it was a toxic fuel or explosive devices or firearms, or something else unique to military forces, veterans often were exposed to dangers of a nature few Americans ever experience. It's just in the nature of the job.
Hartway and Gearheart weren't the only people to die in military service last Thursday. A retired Air Force colonel, flying as a civilian pilot for the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, was killed when his F-16 crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
One day, three men, all engaged in routine duty as part of their job to protect the rest of us.
We cannot thank our veterans enough for the risks they have taken and the sacrifices they have made while proudly wearing the uniforms of the United States armed forces.
Because even at home, in areas where there is no combat, it is all too often still a dangerous job.
-- Kelly Everitt