4/17/2010 3:33:00 PM
Editorial: Hats off to the American Legion Riders
When it comes to the American soldier, the days of ticker-tape welcome-home parades are long gone. They go off to war quietly, waving good-bye to family and interested parties at the base, and come home the same way, often even less conspicuously, a few at a time.
In the Verde Valley we have had men and women leave for and return from the battlefield with hardly a ripple of notice.
So hats off to the American Legion Riders, especially our local posts, who have made a concerted effort in recent years to make a fuss out of military personnel coming home. The roaring parade of motorcycles offers a spin around town and a big welcome at the American Legion post in Camp Verde or Cottonwood.
Our military personnel are in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan as well as nearby volatile areas that can turn deadly on a dime. Only our veterans truly know how both stressful and humdrum life can be for those just trying to do their jobs and get back home.
Some of our service members are lifetime military, but many have joined up since 2001, fully aware that this is wartime and they were quite likely to be in a dangerous field at some point. These were not just kids out to get a cheaper education or to see the world. This was sacrifice and risk. And, oh, yes, they were representing their country.
It is more than a relief to see them come safely home. The American Legion Riders want to welcome them back heartily and publicly. If a member of your family is in the military and will be returning home, the Riders would love to be part of the celebration. Give them a call (567-0224). It's not a duty for the Riders; it's a pleasure.
It also offers the rest of us an opportunity to show up and say thanks when there is no ticker-tape parade.