11/9/2011 By Lance Cpl. John Suleski, Marine Corps Air Station New River
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. — With two wars and numerous operations throughout the past decade, Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen can find pride in their service. Nov. 11 is a day Americans can honor military veterans of all branches of service and celebrate what they have done to help keep this country safe.
Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday commemorated the end of World War I and honored the men and women who sacrificed for the war, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was celebrated every year Nov. 11, the day both sides ceased fire in 1918.
After World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day, in order to honor veterans of every era.
Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote, “On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom … ”
It is a day America doesn’t forget. Neighbors raise flags on their houses, cities set up parades and businesses give discounts to past and present service members.
But, Veterans Day has a deeper meaning than a day off work, parades or free food.
Sgt. Jeffrey D. Rymoff Jr., Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 motor transport training non-commissioned officer, said everyone should have pride in their service, no matter how much they believe miniscule their roles are in the military.
“Everybody has a part,” said Rymoff. “I guess that‘s one of the best things about the military. Even if you aren‘t readily engaged in the fight, you are still supporting somebody who is.”
He joined the military May 12, 2003. Before joining the Corps, he said he had multiple jobs as a driver and a blacksmith making horseshoes.
“I woke up one day and didn’t want to do it anymore,” said Rymoff. “So, I joined the Marine Corps.”
Eight years later, Rymoff returned from his third deployment with the rest of his squadron last month and is on post-deployment leave to see his family in Pennsylvania.
Everyone from family members to complete strangers can honor the sacrifices of American heroes this Veterans Day, Rymoff added.
“It’s a good holiday as long as the American people stand behind the veterans,” said Rymoff. “They should be there for the ones that are hurt or are dealing with problems from deployments.”
Veterans Day is a good opportunity to think about the service and sacrifice of those who have sworn an oath to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.