Today, we wish to call attention to the men and women who served in the Armed Forces and continue to make Tracy a better place to live.
Tracy residents have served in every armed conflict of the past 100 years. Your father or grandfather may have been a Navy doctor during bloody conflict as forward Marine units fought from island to island across the Pacific during World War II. Perhaps he flew a B-17 bomber in sorties over World War II Europe at a time when air crews had only a one in four chance of coming back alive.
The average life expectancy for an American who fought in the bug-infested arboreal forests and swamps of Vietnam was an all-too-young 19 years old. More than three decades later, young Tracy men and women volunteered for military duty following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Tracy graduates have gone on to West Point and other military schools and served far from home with distinction in times of peace, cold war and open conflict.
One element connects those who put their bodies and lives in the way of harm to preserve our union: bravery. The character they exhibit when they put on the uniform doesn’t end when their service is over. Their strength has shaped Tracy, whether they served in elected positions, as small-business owners, as farmers, law enforcement officers or firefighters in our community.
We owe veterans a debt not only for their service in uniform but for their leadership and strong example within our community. Tracy is the way it is because of these men and women.
When we mark Veterans Day this Monday, Nov. 11, we stand with our community as we all say “Thank you.