Hey Everyone….

Did you thank a vet today?  I guess I’m awash in vet stories right now.  I just did a piece on the USS Jason Dunham.  That’s the newest guided missile destroyer in the Navy’s fleet.  It’s at Port Everglades right now.  It’s named after the late Marine Sgt. Jason Dunham.  Six years ago in Iraq, he sacrificed himself to save others.  He threw himself on a live grenade.  He survived a few days, but later died.  I’m told that this was something he actaully practiced.  He learned that by first throwing his helmut onto the explosive, then his body, along with his vest, he would have a chance of survival.  Even knowing the odds were against him, he did it anyway.  What a hero!

Many of us have our military heroes. My newphew is a proud Marine.  He just came back from Afghanistan.  I’m so proud of him and the man he’s become.  It was a rough tour for him in the Helmund Province.  That’s an active area.  Thanks Mike for making all of us proud.

And then there’s my father.  Phil Schouten is a WWII vet.  In 1945, at 18 years old, he went to Okinawa as an able bodied kid.  While there, he was hit by a bomb and lost both legs.  Right now he’s 84 and I know of few people greater than he.  Every day, he is a living example of the person I want to be.  After his injury, nothing could stop him.  He learned to walk, became an accountant, married my mom, adopted all 5 children in my family and taught us each to stand on own two feet and make our way in the world. I could go on forever. …but I won’t!

On this Veteran’s say thanks to someone who gave of themselves so we can live our lives in peace and safety.


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