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Thanks to all who served

To the editor:

Thank you to Toronto American Legion St. Mihiel Post 86 for an incredible experience.

On Nov. 9, I had the honor of celebrating the 100th anniversary of Toronto’s first-in-the-nation World War I monument with many local veterans, including Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla and state Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction.

I thank God for the creation of the United States of America, and I thank veterans for the preservation of these United States. We truly live in the greatest country in the history of the world.

From our inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness promised in the Declaration of Independence to the guarantees of free speech and the right to bear arms guaranteed by the United States Constitution, this nation is like none other.

Sadly, those freedoms can often be attacked, even here at home.

I work alongside many veterans nearly every day. Last year, we worked to help pass the VA MISSION Act to give veterans greater access to health care and to expand their benefits. My good friend, Ray, a former Air Force pararescueman, played an especially important part in the passing and follow-through of the VA MISSION Act which received a bipartisan vote of 92 Senators before being signed into law by President Trump.

After the bill passed, I asked Ray, “Why did you choose to work in this profession which requires so much time away from your family?”

Ray shares the answer to that question as he travels the country, and it goes something like this: “When I joined the Air Force there was a ceremony where I was asked to raise my hand and swear an oath to defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution. When my time in the service was over, there was no ceremony asking me to put my hand back down. I believe it is my duty to continue serving that oath.”

The debt of gratitude I have for the service of our veterans is one that can never be repaid, but it is one that can be honored. On Veterans Day, we honored that service, and on every day, I hope we as Americans honor the commitment to the U.S. Constitution by doing every thing we can to protect our freedoms.

Thank you to all of those who have served.

Ron Ferguson

Wintersville

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