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ANN BAILEY: Thanking the vets in our lives

My dad, Adrian Bailey, was a military veteran, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, guarding freight in what is now China and India.

Ann Bailey

My dad, Adrian Bailey, was a military veteran, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, guarding freight in what is now China and India.

He enlisted in the service Sept. 20, 1940, in Great Falls, Mont., and was honorably discharged Oct. 1, 1945, at Fort Douglas, Utah. My dad kept his Certificate of Achievement from Gen. Hap Arnold, along with other mementos including photos, his uniform and stripes and his 194 West Coast Air Corps Training Center yearbook.

He was proud of his service to his country and over the years recounted many stories from his five years in the Army Air Corps.

Today, Veterans Day, I am thinking about my dad and other veterans, some whom I know and some I don't know. One of the ones I know is my brother-in-law, John, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. Early in his career, John was a security policeman at missile sites and spent a number of holidays in silos.

Later in his career, John did temporary duty in several places, including Croatia, Turkey and Qatar. I witnessed firsthand the sacrifices he and his family had to make during John's years in the Air Force, including, leaving his baby son (my nephew, Stephen) and wife (my sister, Bonnie) to serve his country overseas.

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In the service

Over the years, I also have met members of the Air Force and veterans through my job at the Grand Forks Herald. I interviewed dozens of active and retired Air Force personnel. They were, without a doubt, the most respectful and polite men and women that I ever had the pleasure of meeting.

They were dedicated men and women who took their jobs of defending our country seriously. Most of them were a long way from home and many of them from warmer climates, but they didn't complain. To the contrary, they went out of their way to talk about the positive side of being stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

As anyone who has lived in the Grand Forks area knows, the personnel at Grand Forks Air Force Base also are some of the world's best volunteers. You will find them lending a hand at church, at school and with public service projects. Wherever there is a need, Grand Forks Air Force Base men and women are likely to be there.

Today, on Veteran's Day, I want to salute all of the veterans for their service to the United States. Their defense of our country guarantees our freedoms. Despite all of the challenges the United States faces from within and from without, I believe it still is the greatest country in the world. If it weren't for the veterans who protect it, day in and day out, it would not endure.

Happy Veterans Day, and thank you.

Ann's father Adrian
Ann's father Adrian, was a sergeant in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

Related Topics: FAMILY
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