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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Veterans in Touch – HOPE


This year has been a year of tragedies and challenges. The winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere will occur at 10:28AM Central Time on December 21. It is the longest night of the year. Various cultures celebrate with lights and candles to remind us that the light will return. These celebrations are symbols of hope.

Recently Jan and I drove back to Hanover, Pennsylvania, to visit friends and relatives. I always knew my hometown was patriotic, but really didn’t realize just how patriotic they were. Everyone came up to me and thanked me for my service. My answer to them was “It was an honor and I would do it again.”

After returning from the trip, I attended a luncheon sponsored by the noon Rotary Club. At the luncheon I received along with four other Veterans a “Quilt of Valor.” The next day we attended a Veterans Day function at one of the local high schools. The respect shown to us by the faculty and students was heartwarming.

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of my deployment to Vietnam. For the first time in a very long time I feel like the Vietnam Veterans are being honored for their service to this great nation. Back then, when I got ready to board the plane I gave my wife a long hug and kiss thinking that I would probably never see her again. It was a very stressful time.

Speaking of my lovely and caring wife, Jan, it is a big anniversary for us. This year marks 50 years of wedded bliss. I can’t say enough good things about Jan. She is always there for me in my battles with hidden demons. She is talented, intelligent and my best friend.

In honor of our 50th anniversary Jan made 50 gold origami cranes for our Christmas tree. I told you she was talented. The crane is the symbol of hope and healing. My wish for you is however you celebrate this time of year may you find hope, healing and peace.

Mike Barbour
Mike Barbour
Mike Barbour is a Service Officer, American Legion Post 43, and regular contributor to PN. Also contact him at mbarbour@wowway.com.