Today is Veterans Day, and in years past, my family and friends have asked what Veterans Day means to me. I thought I'd share a little about that today. To me, Veterans Day is a celebration of the hearts and souls of military men and women. It’s a day when it is fun to remember friends we have served with. It’s a day to think about working on behalf of soldiers in so many places. It’s a day to feel a connection with others who have served before and after me. It’s so personal it hurts.
And, I am extremely proud of Arkansas’s military legacy. As of June 2017, Arkansas was home to 10,533 Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard. The total number of active troops stationed in Arkansas is down right now because of the Arkansas National Guardsmen that have been assigned to Djibouti, Africa, over the past nine months. Most are on their way home now. I have a friend at Fort Hood, TX, who is currently preparing to go to Iraq with his Louisiana National Guard unit. There are so many sacrifices, and there is so much duty and honor among all of these men and women now serving. They are tied to every single person that has worn a United States military uniform.
While Memorial Day is solemn and respectful, Veterans Day is celebratory and filled with the appreciation that our nation would look much different, but for military service before us. I'm grateful to have served, and grateful for the service of every military veteran out there. God bless the United States, God bless you and your families, and may God keep you all safe.