From: Abi Trocinski
Cotter Jr. High School
Teacher: Gini Wilzbacher
Growing up in a military family I have a personal understanding of the daily sacrifices that veterans and their families have to make in order to protect our country and guarantee our freedom. I have the greatest respect for my Dad, Major Eric Trocinski who is a twenty-one year Blackhawk helicopter pilot serving in both the United States Army and Air Force.
When soldiers are deployed for combat operations they can be away from home somewhere between six months to over a year at a time. While away they must make many sacrifices. Besides being away from family, they are also separated from friends, they have to face shocking circumstances of war and live with the fear that they could lose their lives at any given moment. These soldiers live in very harsh and extreme conditions. The temperatures in Iraq and Afghanistan for example can reach 100 degrees to 117 degrees Fahrenheit. They cannot just pick up a cell phone to make a call, thereís no shopping or television or family dinners. They miss little events we all take for granted like going to their childís plays, basketball games, holidays and birthdays in order to serve our country.
Veterans donít just fight wars; they also serve our country in our homeland. My Dad received the 2005 Richard T. Kite Award for rescuing 194 people in Hurricane Katrina, flying to New Orleans immediately after the hurricane hit. Many soldiers deployed to rescue people and then help clean up the aftermath of that terrible storm.
The price that a veteran pays for our freedom goes well beyond the time they have to spend deployed and in combat operations. Many people do not understand that a great number of veterans will spend the rest of their lives coping with the things that they have seen and that they were required to do to fight for our freedom.
So I guess you could say we should respect our veterans not only because they fought for our country but also because they did so much more than that. They sacrificed their security and comfort and their physical well- being for us, the citizens of the United States of America. I especially admire my Dad, who like all soldiers, was a family man whose career happened to be protecting our freedom. We should all be proud of our veterans for all that they have given selflessly. That is why I respect our veterans.