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Guest opinion: Veterans Day 2019
November 8, 2019

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Over the past few years I have had the privilege to be part of a team interviewing applicants for all of the U.S. Military Academies. As each of these exceptional students take their turn in the "hot seat" before us, I often think of where they are in their own personal journey. While only a select few will receive appointments, I have every confidence they will all do well given their many accomplishments to date and desire to serve.

For the judges, we are a mix of former military and business leaders. We represent the other end of life's spectrum in experience. Most of us are veterans. So I find myself thinking about that time when we were inspired to served. While our reasons varied, wearing the uniform of our Country was a calling I trust we will always be thankful for.

I remember finding my grandfather's World War I uniform in a closet "many" years ago. My Dad's from World War II years later and always wondering what stories they held. For many like family, friends, associates and myself, our uniforms now hang in our own closets, remembrance of a time of youthful exuberance,personal growth, challenge, sacrifice, and a brotherhood like no other.

For those who have gone before and are now serving, THANK YOU, and to those like the young people we interview, I trust the journey will not disappoint.

While the uniforms for many are neatly tucked away I can assure you when any veteran stands to salute of flag, we do so with an intense pride that still dwells deep within.

For those just starting, carry on and make us proud, it is truly an honor!

Happy Veterans Day.

- Commissioner Ray Sandelli represents District 3 on the Lee County Board of County Commissioners

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