By Michael L. Wojciechowski
At some point in everyone’s life you are a hero. You might not think so but through your actions, someone will look up to you as their hero. As a veteran, we remember taking the oath of enlistment to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against enemies both foreign and domestic. You signed a blank check to the government that may include paying the ultimate sacrifice of loyalty, but hope the government never cashes that check.
In the 14+ years of being a member of American Legion Post 42, I continue to help the post host events supporting Scouts, Lovell Legends Wheelchair Olympic Team, Midwest Veterans Closet and our own veterans, conducting business as usual and associate ourselves with veterans, their families and the community.
My father and his twin brother served in World War II. Kept it a family tradition. Entering the military at an early age, we sometimes think we are invincible. We are trained to fight, defend our position and our fellow troops. We remember to defend and protect our families when we leave the service too. Willing to protect them to the same extent as our military brothers and sisters if need be.
Our families, employers, co-workers and citizens of the United States often, but unfortunately not always, appreciate our devotion and how we protect their way of life and the freedoms they enjoy every day.
Our lives evolve. We become the protectors our parents, teachers and drill sergeants taught us to be. Even later in life we are willing to protect our wives, children, grandkids and, if lucky enough, great-grandkids. We pay forward these beliefs to our children and hopefully they continue to pay it forward as well, continuing the cycle.
But in the end, we become our children’s or grandchildren’s heroes. We lead by example, we treat people how we would like to be treated (with respect), and sometimes they see us perform these everyday acts of heroism without us ever realizing it.
Our oath of enlistment has no expiration, regardless of how many years. Retiring from the military receiving a pension is a reminder of all the years of service, working and sometimes fighting, side by side, with your brothers and sisters in arms or in blood. They often become our extended family despite not being blood relatives.
WE ARE HERE TO GIVE BACK TO THE VETERANS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY.