It may have been blustery winds and gray skies greeting loyal supporters of the military and the heroes themselves Saturday morning, but it didn't keep friends of the nation's servicemen and women away from the Veterans Day celebration held at the Erath County Courthouse.
Guest speaker LTC Jason R. Vranes, a highly decorated veteran of the US Army who now serves as professor of Military Science at Tarleton State University, spoke at the ceremony.
In his address, Vranes presented what he believed was important for civilians to keep foremost in their minds in regards to veterans.
“I hope you walk away today remembering three things that will allow you to understand what our veterans do for this nation, and what we as a community can do to help them,” he said as he introduced an outline to accomplish that goal.
Front and center was recognizing that all soldiers live by the credo of 'Once a soldier always a soldier,' reminding civilians of the deeply rooted devotion to the nation embraced by military personnel.
Second, he spoke of the commitment required of the military to foster the life long success of soldiers and veterans and their families by connecting them to education and employment opportunities and post service health care. And finally he acknowledged the military cannot provide those fundamental essentials alone.
“Supporting our veterans requires a team approach,” Vranes said, citing a joint effort among all branches of the military, the government and local communities was necessary to accomplish that goal.
US Navy veteran of 11 years, James Schniers, was in attendance. He explained the significance of the event.
“It's a ceremony where everybody gets together to honor the veterans fallen and the current heroes in service right now,” he said. “And it gives us a chance to talk to the other veterans, an opportunity for camaraderie.”