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Happy Veterans Day: Thank you!

By Michelle Malkin  •  November 11, 2011 09:49 AM

Happy Veterans Day to all who have served our great nation. Thank you for your courage and dedication. Thank you for our freedom. We can’t say it enough.

A special salute to Marines, who celebrated the Corps’ 236th birthday yesterday.

From the Boston Herald, a must-read account from one who served and sacrificed (h/t Jules Crittenden):

Lance Cpl. Evan Reichenthal, 20, of Princeton had dreamed of being a Marine since the seventh grade. He enlisted in July 2009 and by December 2010, he was in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines. This is his story:

“It’s a third-world country, very basic. It’s extremely hot during the day and cold at night. It’s deserts, emptiness, the occasional farmland.

“I was an infantryman. Our mission was to clear out the Taliban, hold what we’d gained and build infrastructure. Clear, hold, build. We’d get intel and we’d go out and get Taliban … You get used to being shot at. You just adapt.”

On Jan. 5, 2011, on patrol with his 12-man squad in Marjah, Reichenthal was thrown in the air when an improvised bomb exploded under his feet.

“I stepped on it and somehow I didn’t lose consciousness. I was conscious the entire time. I hit the ground 20 feet away. I landed and lifted my head up and my right leg was gone and on my left, the skin was hanging off the bone. My right arm was bent behind me and the skin was hanging off my shoulder … I knew I wasn’t OK.”

…“It puts life into perspective when you almost die—when you really almost die, not just your cell phone is out of service or something. When I walked again, it was the best feeling ever.

“Not a lot of people know what goes on anymore. They have no concept of it … They need to be reminded of what we do and remember what we do … There’s some guy out there, laying down, dragging his buddy to a helicopter.”

From the Department of Veteran Affairs, the 2011 tribute:

Regional observances to honor vets in your state listed here.

The president is laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Restaurants across the country are offering special deals/meals for our troops — listed here.

One of my favorite local military charity organizations here in Colorado Springs: Home Front Cares.

Also: The Wounded Warrior Project.

And: Soldiers’ Angels – Project Valour IT.

Never forget: We are the land of the free because of the brave. God bless all our servicemen and servicewomen.

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Categories: Feature Story, Veterans