Letter to the Editors: Honoring Our Veterans

Thank a veteran for their service when you get the opportunity.

On November 11, 2020, as in the past, we remember and honor our military veterans recognizing their sacrifices and commitments our nation’s heroes made to safe guard and protect our country’s values and principals.  Our fallen veterans, living veterans, and wounded warriors, must never be forgotten.  We remember and honor our fallen veterans on Memorial Day, by marching in parades, visits to memorials and cemeteries and holding special services. 

Our Sullivan County, like other counties, towns and cities throughout our country, have outstanding resident Veterans who continue to dedicated their lives in keeping the spirit that Veterans should never be forgotten.  Our local VFW and American Legion Posts possess this spirit when the veterans get together, and share their common experiences.  In addition, we recognize and thank our veterans who have always been available to give up their time to support community projects. 

We should also acknowledge our veterans not only on this day, but each day as we go through our daily lives.  We are still experiencing our pandemic practicing social distancing and wearing masks.  When we go to stores, arrive at gas stations, food establishments, places of worship, etc., we can honor a veteran from a distance.  If a veteran passes you by that has a hat, jacket or shirt that identifies that person as a veteran, please give a nod of your head, tip your hat if you are wearing one, give a little salute and say out loud, “Thank you for your service.”  The veteran will leave appreciating and feeling that he or she is remembered, and that their service has not gone unnoticed or forgotten. 

We all have veteran family members departed or present whom we love, as I do.  On this day and throughout the year, I think of my family members that sacrificed and dedicated their lives to make a difference.  

My brother, USAF Master Sergeant, Leo M. Skurecki, dedicated 22 years of service, was awarded a number of citations, and survived the massive shelling of Tuy Hoa Air Force Base, in Vietnam in 1969.  My father’s brother, Father John Skurecki, as a Chaplain in Germany in 1944, administered to the wounded, dying and the deceased, and later became Chaplain of Coatesville Veteran’s Hospital. My mother’s brother, US Army Air Force Master Sergeant Joseph F. Augustyn, stationed in Egypt in 1942, was awarded the Soldier’s Medal.  Along with 16 other service personnel, he and others exhibited extraordinary heroism, by entering a hail of burning gasoline and exploding shells, and saved the lives of the crew members of a long range bomber that crashed upon returning from a mission.  My brother-in law, US Army Staff Sergeant, Ernest K. Fuchs, served in the Reserves from 1966 to 1968.  My mother’s brother-in-law, US Army Air Force, Technical Sergeant, Edward F. McKnight, awarded a number of citations, served in England and Belgium from 1942 to 1945, performing maintenance on B-26 Bombers.

On this National Day, we honor all our veterans past and present, and thank them for their dedications and sacrifices.  May all our departed veterans rest in peace, and we want all our living veterans and Wounded Warriors to know that our unconditional respect and love for each of you come from our hearts.  

In Remembering there is Peace. God Bless America, Our Veterans, Our Military, Our Wounded Warriors and Our Citizens.