Veteran urges public to remember, be thankful

    Veteran Gabe Haugland reminded those attending Clear Lake’s Memorial Day services to remember the rights provided by our founders and upheld by soldiers through the years and thank them for the freedoms they have upheld.
    “Last year I spoke here, in this same cemetery, as I was still mourning the loss of SGT Brent Maher of Honey Creek,

Iowa who I served with in Afghanistan.  He lost his life in an IED attack on April 11, 2011.  I wear a black band on my wrist with his name on it every day so as to be constantly reminded of his sacrifice.  We also remember the sacrifice of a local hero, Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, of Rockford, Iowa who was one of 22 special operators who died when a Taliban RPG hit their Chinook helicopter on Aug. 6 of last year.  Unfortunately, these two weren’t our only losses last year.  In total, there have been 110 U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq since the first of this year alone.  So today, I thought it would be appropriate for us to recall exactly what it is that they have sacrificed their lives for.”
    He said a soldier’s role in defending, protecting and preserving the Bill of Rights can be found in every conflict.
    “Perhaps a Union Soldier during the Civil War would’ve told you he was defending the right of the slave to be free – the right to liberty.
    “Perhaps an American Soldier during WW2 would’ve told you he was fighting to defend our very homeland after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Had the Germans or the Japanese succeeded, all of the rights we just mentioned under the Bill of Rights would’ve ceased to exist. 
    “Perhaps an American Soldier during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts would’ve told you he was defending our way of life against the spread of Communism, a system that killed between 85-100 million people during the 20th century alone.  Perhaps he would’ve told you he was fighting to prevent mass killings that were commonplace under Communist regimes, or terror campaigns, or the brutal treatment of political prisoners in Communist “re-education camps.”
    “Perhaps an American Soldier during Desert Storm would’ve told you he was fighting to prevent further use of chemical weapons and poison gas, which Saddam employed against the Kurdish people in the Halabja prison massacre on - Read More Via e-Edition

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