One of my heroes is my grandfather, Donald, R. "Skip" Stelter -- a man who enlisted not once, but twice to serve his country. As a young soldier in WWII, he stormed the beaches of Normandy, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He also served in the Air Force in the U.S. and in Vietnam.
As a child growing up, I could not comprehend the significance of these battles, the freedom that they brought to a Europe at war, of their cost in terms of casualties. I also could not appreciate what would have happened if men like my grandfather had not stepped up to serve their country and the world.
My grandfather never spoke of the war, preferring to keep silent in the subject. Enamored by the glorified portrayals of war and American victory in the movies, I was curious to know what it was like to have participated in these famous battles. I wanted to ask someone who had first-hand experience.
The battle for freedom continues. Today, men and women around the world are fighting for freedom and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.
As we take time as a family to pray for our troops, we give thanks for the men and women who have served our country in the past and those who serve today.
The next time you see a veteran, a person currently serving in our armed forces, or someone serving in law enforcement, please stop and thank them for their contribution to the freedom that you enjoy. They are our Heroes.