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Proud to be an American
May 17, 2012 - Steve Murch
The Friday edition of The News will contain our annual Proud to be an American supplement. This section has photos of all the service men and women whose families submitted photos and/or information on their loved ones in the military. This is a section that always makes me appreciate the sacrifices not only of those in the military, but also their families.
When you see the list of family members on each of these bios, you understand how many people go to bed each night knowing they have a family member who could be in the line of fire somewhere in the world, protecting us and our way of life – including the right to make idiotic comments about the same tired subjects anonymously online. I've always appreciated those who wear the uniforms for us and tried to put myself in the shoes of their family members. This edition brings it all together at one time.
In 2001, The News put together an edition during the holidays to honor those servicing who wouldn't be home for the holidays. The war in Iraq was just under way and we didn't have much time to put it together. Yet we had about 70 military personnel in it. We received many positive comments on it, and we knew it was something that should be done regularly.
We didn't want to do it during the holidays every year because there are a lot of distractions at that time for readers, and we have several things going on at that time here at the paper. Armed Forces Day, which is the third Saturday of May every year, was a natural tie-in, so we decided to publish it on the Friday prior to Armed Forces Day. Our second edition ran in 2003, and we've done it every year since.
Through the years, we've seen families with five or six family members serving. This year there are several families with multiple members in the military; we even have some married military couples. Our peak number was about 180, though most years have hovered around the 100 mark. This year's edition is just under 100. Nearly every rank seems to be covered, from an admiral in the Navy to a private in the Army.
This is our small way of saying thank you to the military personnel and their families. We appreciate your sacrifices. For that, we salute you.
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