Today, we honor our veterans across our country. We salute them for the sacrifices they have made for us whether it was at home or abroad. It is their service, commitment, and dedication that gives people in our country the freedom to speak our minds and express our values. It is their grit, determination, and willingness to sacrifice it all that makes America the land of opportunity and allows the freedoms our families enjoy.

As a United States Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, I know firsthand what it is to be an American soldier. I understand the strong bond that develops between service members as we learn to share our fears, hopes, and dreams with one another. We are bonded in our willingness to stand together, ready to fight and die for our county and our freedom. It is this bond that unites us to serve our country regardless of our different races, different religions, different backgrounds, and different cultures.

Our veterans — the brave men and women who have worn the American military uniform — are our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends. These men and women who have bravely served in our armed forces served all Americans. Our American soldiers answer the call to duty because they know they are part of something larger than themselves. Their duty is honor and country.

Despite the many challenges we currently face, Veterans Day brings us together as a country to show our appreciation to all those who have served. Today, we salute all of our veterans. We honor each one of them and recognize their commitment, courage, and selfless service. We are grateful to them for defending our country, our family, our faith, and our freedom.

Semper Fi!

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by state Sen. Juan Hinojosa of McAllen. Hinojosa is a veteran of the Viet Nam War. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Hinojosa can be reached by email via: [email protected]

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