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Take time to thank our troops

By State Senator Troy Fraser Special to the Courie

With summer fast approaching and vacations and backyard barbecues being scheduled, it's easy to look past an incredibly important holiday - Memorial Day.
Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday once served to honor those who lost their lives in the Civil War. Over the years, the holiday evolved into what we now call Memorial Day. This is our nation's chance to pay our respects and say thank you to all of the brave men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom.
It is my pleasure to serve you as Bandera County's state senator. Perhaps the greatest honor I have is the ability to represent the men and women at Fort Hood and Dyess Air Force Base. It gives me great pride to call those members of the military and their families my constituents.
Each time I arrive at our state's Capitol, I'm humbled. It's an incredible privilege to enter our Capitol, a symbol of liberty and democracy, and work for the people of Texas. I know we owe our nation's heroes a debt of gratitude for all they do to protect our way of life. If you find yourself at our state's Capitol building on your three-day weekend, I'd encourage you to explore some of the treasures around the historic Capitol grounds.
Texas has a rich military history and our Capitol grounds offer visitors the chance to pause and reflect at a number of monuments in honor of our soldiers. Monuments pay homage to those who fought in our nation's major conflicts, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Vietnam memorial, which was officially dedicated March 29th of this year, serves as a reminder of the 3,417 Texans who served in Vietnam but never returned home.
As you gather with your friends and family for the unofficial start of summer, it is my hope that you take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by our members in uniform and their families. It's an incredibly easy gesture to say thank you to our troops and we should strive to find ways to show them our appreciation on a regular basis.
This Memorial Day think about making a donation to a charitable cause supporting our veterans, offer to buy a meal for a member of our armed services or simply fly the Stars and Stripes with pride. It's thanks to the countless men and women who have given so selflessly that we're able to live in a country that embodies liberty. God bless our troops and God bless Texas.