Honoring the Bravest Among Us
Each year on the eleventh of November, we rightly pause to honor and remember the bravery and boldness of the men and women who selflessly answered the call of duty and wore one of the many great military uniforms of the United States of America. Without question, we owe a constant debt of gratitude to generations of veterans, including many of our own family members, who made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our homeland and who faithfully fought to promote and preserve America’s precious freedoms.
On Veterans Day, I am certainly reflecting on the military service rendered by my own relatives. Each day, I am reminded of my namesake and late uncle Tom’s tremendous courage and sacrifice. A prisoner of war during World War II, he was forced to walk the infamous Bataan Death March, and he was held in the Japanese prison camps of Cabanatuan in the Philippines and Hanawa on the main island of Japan. He kept a booklet with the names of the brave men that he met in the prison camps because he never wanted to forget those with whom he served. I was honored to be given his little book after he passed away, and I keep it in my DC office alongside several photos of him, including a picture that was taken of him and his brothers in arms on the day Hanawa was liberated.
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