Greensburg Daily News
Greensburg native Tom Imel was the featured speaker at a small gathering Friday night to observe Veteran’s Day at Skybird Manor Apartments.
Imel is a retired Marine Corps veteran who served 30 thirty years, including two 13-month tours in Vietnam and two years as a drill sergeant.
In his speech, which included the reading of a short poem, Imel highlighted the importance of serving one’s country. He also stressed the importance of every U.S. citizen making Veteran’s Day an important observance.
Imel also talked about the bonds that bind fellow service members across generations.
“When I see any veteran,” he said, “that person is my brother or sister.”
Imel’s wife Wanda related a moving story from several years ago in which she thanked a random, active-duty Marine Corps veteran for his service.
“Even after all these years, we still visit [Marine Corps Base] Camp Lejeune in North Carolina at least once a year, sometimes more,” Wanda Imel said. “And one year, as a Marine passed me, I thanked him for his service. He came back a few minutes later and thanked me, tears welling in his eyes, telling me that, in his 10 or 12 years of service, no one’s ever simply thanked him for his service to his country.”
“I want to thank all of you,” she continued, “for remembering our servicemen and women on Veteran’s Day. I couldn’t be prouder of my own marine.”
After his wife’s story, Imel reminded the audience that thanking a veteran for his or her service was probably the most important thing any average citizen could do for a member of the military — past or present — for his or her service.
Mayor Gary Herbert introduced Imel, offering his own thoughts on the U.S. military and why military service is vital to our country.
“I can’t imagine what the U.S. would be like without our veterans,” Herbert said.
Herbert told the small gathering that his dad was a WWII veteran who refused military honors and “didn’t talk much about his time in the service.”
“But he was always proud of serving his country,” the mayor added.
The mayor’s grandson currently serves in the U.S. Navy.
“We live in the greatest country in the world, because of our unique form of government,” Herbert said. “And regardless of race, skin color, politics, religion or anything else, we are all Americans. When something happens, we all pull together, and the military is an extension of that.”
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.