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Martha Wettemann: Editorial 5-25-13

SCAreadersSpeakOutOn this Memorial Day (May 27) we will honor and respect the memory of two Cheatham County heroes, who perished in battle while serving their state and their country. Marine Cpl. Kristopher Daniel Greer, a 2003 graduate of Harpeth High, first served his community as an Ashland City fire fighter and then as a Marine in Iraq until 2010. Ashland City Fire Chief Chuck Walker called him a true hero. Sgt. Gary L.Reese, Jr. , a graduate of Central High, was 22 years old when he paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2005 due to the explosion of an IED. Kurt Scott, his high school friend, said,” He was a great guy.” His sense of humor “always left me in stitches.”

We who benefit from their service in keeping our country free can honor their memory by reading their stories: Daniel Greer at www.fallenheroesproject.com and St. Gary L. Reese at www.fallenheroesmemorial.com. It is fitting on this holiday that we take time to pause, remember their sacrifices, and send a prayer their way.

We also need to honor the families of these veterans and other veterans who are returning home by communicating to Congress that it is not acceptable to cut services that they need. The broad-based sequester has caused big reductions in programs that help families and veterans: housing for homeless veterans, tuition assistance, the VETS job training program, mental health counseling for PTSD, and staff at military hospitals and clinics. More also needs to be done about the long-standing and often endless delays in claims for veterans’ benefits. Your calls to Reps. Cooper and Blackburn are needed to build back these programs to the levels needed to serve all our veterans and the families of those honoring our fallen heroes.

Cheatham County Democratic Executive Committee

Martha Wettemann,

District 3 Representative

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