Letters to the Editor Sept. 3, 2015

Dear Editor:
 About 28 years ago an annual tradition of honoring Veterans on November 11, began here in Van Horn. I have been humbled by the compassion and gratitude of two special veterans whom have recently passed away to this life on earth and are now with their Father in Heaven.  

 Efren Pantoja was a member of the local VFW and was instrumental with the first Veterans Day program. Every year since then, he was always excited to help in any way he could to help recognize the local veterans.  His soft-spoken voice of appreciation toward all those involved with the Veterans Day performance warmed your heart. 

Clayton McDonald rarely missed a Veterans Day program.  His kindness and gratitude toward all involved was imminent with his affectionate smile and strong hug. He made you feel proud you were an American.  He was a man of integrity with strong values.

I admired both of these gentlemen’s dedication to God, family, and our country.  Yes, the famous quote, “If you love your country, thank a Veteran!” should personify in our hearts daily.  We do not say “thank you” enough.  Let us not wait for a funeral service or a Veterans Day program to let men and women know how invaluable their service to America is.  Let us all show more kindness and be bold to share a simple, “Thank you,” when we meet an active military person or veteran. 

We also have volunteer firefighters, emergency personnel, law enforcement, and other first responders with whom I feel we need to be more considerate of their commitment to our safety and well-being.  

Thanks to all of you!
Toni Turnbow