The Pryor Times

May 28, 2013

Paying tribute to those who serve

Managing Editor
Kathy Parker

— With flags whipping in the wind, Adair residents honored service personnel, past and present.

U.S. Navy veteran and Oklahoma Rep. Chuck Hoskin was the featured speaker.

“Think of this not as the official start of summer as radio and television tells you, but as a day to honor those who defended our nation,” Hoskin said.

“This is a day to honor not just the fallen, but all veterans who answered the call of their country.”

Later in the program, Hoskin read the names listed on Adair’s memorial of those from the area killed in action.

“Think of them as the brave young men and women they were. They gave up their dreams so we could have ours today,” Hoskin said. “Rural people do not forget who came before us and what they did so we can be here.”

Hoskin said Oklahoma has a higher percentage of the population in the service than most other states.

His father and three uncles served in World War I and II. One was killed in action, one died of mustard gas poisoning and one was permanently disabled.

“My father, Sam, by the grace of God returned home.”

Hoskin and his brother are veterans.

“That doesn’t make us special (as a family), it just makes us Oklahomans,” Hoskin said.

Hoskin said to remember Oklahomans are still in harm’s way. “Sacrifices are being made right now.”

Hoskin recognized three World War II veterans present at the ceremony.

He talked about the pledge each soldier takes to uphold the military code of conduct. The first article of the pledge says as an American, a soldier must be prepared to give his life if necessary.

Hoskin paraphrased two other components of the code, to “never forget you are an American fighting for freedom and I will trust in God and my country.

“I remember the chill I got at the flag raising at boot camp and it has never gone away.”