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    Veterans Day Pride



    Story by Spc. Clevon Wright 

    367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    History is sometimes made by conscious and brave choices of an individual. Many of those conscious and courageous choices are veterans who have served in our country. You make purposeful moves in your life to shape a legacy for the people who come after you. That is the epitome of what veterans in our country do when they raise their right hand, pledging their lives to the defense of our nation. As Americans, we honor our veterans, we honor our veterans by setting a day aside to recognize their sacrifices and service. This single day is sometimes not enough to show the appreciation that is due to the blood these men and women have shed on the battlefield.
    James Massengale, a retired Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, and a member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 9473, finished 20 years of service as a radar maintenance airmen and a special tactics squadron member. To James, being an airman, gives him a sense of fulfillment and belonging, he said. “It gives me pride being a veteran and being able to know veterans who have put in the time and made similar sacrifices like I had to do.”
    Many servicemembers find that one of the most challenging parts of serving is having to be apart from loved ones over extended periods of time. Some veterans, like Massengale, had a hard time sacrificing time away from family when on a deployment or out in the field for training. Veterans and military personnel train often to uphold readiness for war and upcoming deployments. When service members are in a cycle of constant readiness, it takes a toll on their minds when they are away from home, said Massengale. Just because a servicemember isn’t at war, doesn’t mean that they aren’t at war in their own minds.
    “Being gone a year to Alaska for a deployment was difficult,” said Massengale. “It’s not like I was deployed in places like Pakistan or Iraq, it was just the leaving behind everyone and everything you loved that was truly difficult.”
    Despite some hard times and sacrifices, you have people who share those experiences with you away from home. Making a home away from home is easier to deal with when serving. The people on your left and right who wear the same uniform you do will be there for you, fight and die for you if need be. Being a veteran meant more to Massengale than just pride, but it meant that he was a part of a brotherhood he said. He recalled a moment in service where he and his friends were stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina where the camaraderie had meant something to him. “When I was at Shaw Air Force Base, I moved off base with 2 other guys and we had this lake where the times we had there were unimaginable,” said Massengale. “We were all broke, no one had any money, but we fished and hunted snakes, and that was probably the most fun I ever had in the military.”
    Being a veteran in America’s military meant something to Massengale. He believed that it taught him how to think outside of the box, to be more resilient in a lot of complex, tough and adverse situations, to become someone honorable, he said. People thanking servicemembers and veterans for their service may mean a lot to them. “Some people who are veterans, are veterans who might not have even made it home in times of war,” said Massengale. “It’s the ultimate sacrifice they pay to keep our country and our freedoms protected from anything foreign or domestic and that’s why I believe veterans day is truly about, a celebration of the lives lost protecting this country.”



    Date Taken: 11.09.2020
    Date Posted: 11.09.2020 10:53
    Story ID: 382643
    Location: REYNOLDSBURG, OH, US 
    Hometown: REYNOLDSBURG, OH, US

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