'It takes courage to put on the uniform'

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tribune photos by Clint Confehr Veterans, from left, are Lewis Simmons, Wendell Cheek and Billy Hill at the Marshall County Courthouse during the Veterans Day ceremony.

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

A traditional Marshall County program was held on the east lawn of the County Courthouse on Lewisburg's public square to mark Veterans Day this year and while the messages were similar, they still rang true.

"Very few working people get the day off," Wendell Cheek, deputy commissioner for Tennessee Veterans Affairs, told the faithful and friendly audience in an address tailored for adults, but similar to his remarks at Chapel Hill Elementary School earlier that morning.

School was in session Friday. Many of the people at the ceremony were veterans, relatives and close associates who well understood the deputy commissioner's message.

"It takes courage to put on the uniform" of the U.S. military services, Cheek said. "Talk with veterans, and you will feel their pain."

American Legion Commander Larry Hastings presided during the program that started at 11 a.m. and included placement of wreaths at the monuments to servicemen who gave their all.

"May the officials in Washington, D.C. remember veterans who secured their freedoms," Hastings said in a prayerful manner asking that those national leaders "not sell this country out."

Edwin Scott, a well-known veteran in the county, called upon employers to show their support for the men and women who've worn the nation's military uniform by hiring a veteran who needs a job.

"Ask yourself; 'are we serving veterans as well as they served us?'"

Dwight Eisenhower was more proud of his military service than being president, Scott said.

In an unsolicited reference to the current military struggles overseas, Scott said that the war on terror is a long-term struggle.

After the ceremony on the square, the leaders, veterans and others went to the Veterans of Foreign Wars clubhouse for dinner middle day.