From the blood-soaked beaches of Normandy to the steaming triple-canopy jungles of Vietnam and the sweltering heat of the Middle East deserts, America’s fighting forces have answered the call — a fact not lost on West Virginia’s political leaders.
As Veterans Day approached, homage was paid Friday to the men and women who donned uniforms to serve the nation from one conflict to another.
But the honor that annually falls on Nov. 11 shouldn’t end there, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., told an audience at Summers County Middle School.
“Our veterans made a pledge when they left the warmth and safety of their homes to travel to distant countries to protect our freedoms and our safety here at home,” the 3rd District congressman said.
“They promised to defend our country and our constitution at all costs. They put their own lives in harm’s way to make certain America was secure. Our nation must never forget our veterans. They were there when we needed them the most. It is because of these honored faces of the brave that we are free to enjoy our daily lives here in the land of the free and I will strive always to ensure that we repay that solemn debt.”
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., shared that sentiment, saying elections come as a reminder that it is “special to live in a peaceful, thriving democracy.”
“While elections only come ever so often, Americans risk their lives every day, all over the world, to defend freedom and opportunity back home,” Capito said.
“I am forever grateful to the men and women who serve in the military for their selfless service. And to the families with loved ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, we will forever honor their legacy.”
One of her goals is a bill she authored, designed to treat veterans suffering traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It calls for specific case managers in rural areas to help veterans, allowing them to contract with private providers so the veterans and families aren’t burdened with being away from home for protracted lengths while undergoing treatment.
Rahall, the senior member of the House Military Veterans Caucus, pointed out that some 51,000 veterans live in southern West Virginia alone.
And many are returning from hot spots like Iraq and Afghanistan, he pointed out, emphasizing that legislation to provide educational help and jobs must be approved.
While the annual ceremonies and parades are important, Rahall added, “Our veterans have earned the thanks of a grateful nation, and I will strive always to ensure that we repay that solemn debt.”
At Morgantown High School, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., took part in a panel discussion with veterans who relayed accounts of their wartime experiences to students.
“So many men and women bravely serve our country — often far away from their families for long periods of time — and don’t have enough opportunities to bring those stories home to share,” the senator said.
“Those proud and private legacies sometimes remain locked inside.”
Rockefeller, the longest serving member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, considered it gratifying to find so many students attending the Take A Veteran to School program. “It speaks volumes about these students’ commitment to our veterans, their great service, and their legacies and that is to be commended,” Rockefeller said.
- Local News
Judge sends man to jail for failure to clean up 'open dump'
Failure to clean up his Fitzpatrick Road property, which has been declared as an “open dump,” landed 74-year-old Charles Keller with a 90-day sentence in Southern Regional Jail Thursday.
At an October hearing, Keller was ordered to pay a $300 fine, $100 for each count of operating an open dump, and was ordered to have his property cleaned up before his next hearing in December. If not cleaned, Keller would serve 30 days for each count, to run consecutively for a total jail sentence of 90 days.
Thursday, Raleigh County Circuit Court Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick determined that Keller had not made enough effort in cleaning his property, citing only a 5 to 10 percent decrease in the amount of trash plaguing the property.
Mac’s Toy Fund in dire need for used toys for Dec. 21 event
As Santa’s elves (known in some circles as Mac’s Toy Fund volunteers) prepare for the Dec. 21 Mac’s Toy Fund distribution event, a need for good used toys has become apparent.
AT&T responds to Monroe County service complaints
Acknowledging that last month’s cellular telephone service interruption in parts of Monroe County was “unacceptable,” AT&T Regional Vice President Andy Feeney outlined the steps the communications company has taken to correct the situation.
Court upholds Kostenko decision
After eight years of decisions and appeals, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld lower courts’ and commissions’ decisions to terminate a Beckley-area doctor’s right to receive workers’ compensation payments.
Construction forces halt to ‘Living Christmas Story’
Every year for the last 18 years, the Cranberry Baptist Church has presented “The Living Christmas Story” in December. This drive-thru presentation depicting the life of Christ has become a holiday tradition for the people in the community.
Shop with a Cop program accepting applications
The 2013 Shop with a Cop program is accepting applications for Fayette County children who want to participate in the program.
Greenbrier medical center receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation
Greenbrier Valley Medical Center has recently received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, in recognition of the hospital’s commitment to the highest standards in the country for heart failure care.
Calendar — Thursday, December 5, 2013
Alderson model train show Sunday
This year the annual free train show in Alderson has some new additions. Hosted by Lee and Tammy Smith Skaggs, the model trains and their layouts will be on display in the Fellowship Hall of the Alderson Presbyterian Church from 1 to 5 p.m. this Sunday.
Dispatcher: Resident hurt in house fire late Monday
A Victor resident was injured in a house fire late Monday, Fayette County Emergency Operations dispatchers reported Tuesday.
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- Judge sends man to jail for failure to clean up 'open dump'