Sen. Gene Dornink: It was an honor to speak with veterans

Published 5:51 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

Friends and Neighbors,

This week, we recognized our nation’s veterans and the sacrifice they’ve made for our country. I had the opportunity to join Hy-Vee on Thursday morning in Austin and Albert Lea where they served free breakfast to veterans all morning. It was an amazing success. They had a great turnout and I enjoyed visiting with our community’s veterans. I want to extend a big thank you to Hy-Vee and their staff for putting on the event and, more importantly, to our service members and their families for their honor and sacrifice.

I was able to meet and speak with a woman at the event who served in our military during the 1970s. If I remember correctly, she was one of the first women to enlist when the opportunity presented itself. We spoke for a little while and she shared with me the difficulties she faced in those first years. It was an amazing story of service from a woman who has incredible pride in service. The history of our servicewomen is often overlooked but as we look back and examine the many difficulties women had to overcome, and have learned the incredible value of all our service members. It was an honor to hear her story and speak with the many veterans attending the event. Freedom is not free, and we can never take it for granted.

I was also able to speak with veterans who served in Korea, Vietnam, and some who served during peacetime. They had many different experiences and stories which I enjoyed hearing, but one theme rang throughout all the conversations; the great love of country and the pride they have in our nation. When you express your thanks for serving, they often humbly say you’re welcome or I was glad to serve. I did hear the deep concerns they have for where our country is going. I spoke with six gentlemen in dress uniform from Post 56 in Albert Lea who shared with me that they visited a school in the community and folded a flag for the students. They post the colors, national anthem, and pledge allegiance to the flag. They also folded the flag and explained what each fold represents. I was happy to hear that respect for our service members and flag was still being presented in our schools. We truly are the home of the free because of the brave.

Let us never forget to say “thank you” to all military members, past and present. As always, I am here for you if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at sen.gene.dornink@senate.mnor call me at 651-296-5240.