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This morning I had a unique experience.  On the way to work I got to talk with a disabled veteran who was on his way to the University Hospital.  He was a great guy, and had a lot to say.  Growing up in a family that has seen service in one form or another, I've learned that all veterans have something interesting to say.

We talked about his service.  He was in the Army, serving in Desert Storm when the US first invaded Iraq under President George H. W. Bush (senior).  He was stationed in Germany as a Medic dealing with type II trauma, usually burns.  He started to choke up as he spoke about those young men who never made it, because he thought about how they were someone's son or daughter.  He also spoke of his initial reaction when hearing, shortly after, that his own son was signing up for the Marines. 

We talked politics, policies, history, and a number of other topics, but I will never forget the concern he had for those young men under his care.  It's always a pleasure to speak with a veteran about their experiences when they can, and I hope it wasn't too painful for him. 

The month of July is very special for a lot of reasons.  We celebrate the day the Declaration of Independence was first signed (the last signature was made on August 3rd), and in Utah we celebrate the day the Mormon Pioneers came into the Salt Lake Valley on the 24th.  But it should be more than that.  We should take a step back and think about what makes out Country unique.  And be thankful to all those who have made it possible, through their sacrifice and their vision. 

So for all those veterans out there, I want you to know that your sacrifice from your jobs, family, health, and those who sacrificed their lives, are very much appreciated.  I am grateful for your dedication for this country, and your desire to serve.  Thank you.