McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 12, 2011

Letter to the editor: Thanks for continuing the tradition

By Kevin Benjaman

McALESTER — Editor:

As a nation we celebrate our military heroes past and present on Veterans Day. Undoubtedly, we all know someone in the military personally and the sacrifices these men and women make are amazing.

I spent a few years in the military, 24 to be exact, and turned over my duties when I retired to an amazing group of up and coming leaders that will propel the Air Force to bigger and better things. The pride I have for being allowed to be part of that team and to be part of something bigger than Ben ever would have been can’t be put adequately into words. I bleed Air Force “blue” but know every branch is as significant as the other. As any successful team, each branch has its role to play with precision. As a senior non-commissioned officer, I was nothing without the troops I was lucky and blessed to lead.

Every day I put on the uniform was an honor and whenever I see any of our airmen, soldiers, marines, seamen and Sea Bees, and guardians, I thank them for continuing on the tradition of the great men and women that came before us and protected our great nation during some of the most harrowing times in history.

 When my time on earth is done, I hope the memories I leave are of a good father who loved his children with every ounce of being in his body, a loving grandfather who adored his “Preston,” a much better husband the second time around, doting and respectful son, a true friend, and defender of the greatest nation on Earth.

Let’s never forget those that have come before us and that have made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives for us. Yes, my friends, Friday was Veterans Day but every day is Veterans Day for me.

Editor’s note: Kevin Benjaman is a former southeast Oklahoma resident who retired from the U.S. Air Force this year as a master sergeant.