of the 443rd Transportation Unit of the Army Reserves giving his most powerful speech.
Good MorningSenator McCain, Senator Seymour, Fellow Veterans, and Citizens of Neola. I am truly privileged to represent the hundreds of thousands of Men and Women who continue to serve our nation, at this morning’s veteran’s memorial ceremony. A few weeks ago, I brought my Army Reserve Unit to Neola to participate in Water Survival training at the NACC. I believed this would be great training for my Soldiers but they came away with something that is much larger than water survival training. You see, there was a breakfast fundraiser for this veteran’s memorial and the Soldiers were provided the opportunity to talk to many local veterans and the Christiansen’s on that Sunday Morning. This is where they first heard about the project underway in Pottawattamie County and here in Neola. Many of them being from outside this area were amazed at the unity and dedication of the people of Southwest Iowa to want to provide something so remarkable. Many left that morning with a renewed sense of ‘why they serve’ and continue to wear the uniform. Like myself, having served over 20 years in the military, many of the Soldiers today continue to serve our great nation because they believe in the American way of life and their duty to serve its military forces. It is with this same dedication and resolve that the citizens of Neola have come together to establish such a treasured dedication. Often times in small times across America, challenges are faced and divisions forced because of political beliefs, historical events or family names. Neola has demonstrated that they can set aside those differences and come together for a common purpose. It is seen here today with what started as a vision in Mr. Christiansen’s head and heart has become reality with the work of so many. Mr. Christiansen believed that this monument should provide message of honor and thankfulness to those who have made it possible for others to dream, to achieve, and most of all to make choices. Those 'People' as he stated... are our Veterans. Our soldiers of the past, present and future...our Hero's. I can proudly and confidently say that you have exceeded your vision. This monument will stand to provide a representation of what people can do when they truly believe in its reality. In Closing I ask of all those in attendance two wishes. The first being to take a moment and thank someone who participated in any manner in this truly remarkable project, they have provided something that every citizen of this community can be very proud of. Secondly, Having returned from Iraq over a year and half ago, I know the importance of knowing that the people of our country support us in performing our duties. I ask that you keep in your hearts and prayers the many men and women serving in distant places. They are doing their duty without regards to polls or political beliefs. They are serving to protect our way of life. Again I say Thank You for allowing me to be part of this memorial event. God Bless the Men of Women of our Armed Forces and God Bless the United States of America!! Thank You!!