18 years and it just keeps getting better.

Every Veterans Day since 1996, Huntington I.S.D. has put on a program honoring our soldiers.  What started as a gathering of about 25-30 veterans at the Huntington football field, has now blossomed into a full 2 hour spectacle at the high school's main auditorium in which this year nearly 150 veterans were in attendance and recognized.  Huntington teachers, administrators, along with middle school and high school students attend this event,  and many of those are an active part of the presentation.  This year the organizers wanted to focus on a U.S.O. theme for the veterans.  There were two main reasons for that, number one was to entertain the soldiers and guests with great music and singing, and number two was to educate.  A great many of the students had never heard of 'USO', I'm not sure how many of them even recognized Bob Hope when some of his video clips were shown on the screen.  It was, however, very nice to hear the young and old alike laughing at the jokes of one of world's best comedians.

Huntington ISD

I was the master of ceremonies again this year.  That makes somewhere in the neighborhood of a decade or so that I've had the privilege of acting in that capacity. You know, I've done a lot of talking at events over my 35 years in radio, but this is hands down, one of my favorites...ever.  I don't have enough space to tell all that I love about this event, but there is one thing that gets me every time. At the close of the ceremonies, numerous veterans make it a point to find me to shake my hand and let me know how much they appreciate my services.

(chill bumps)

These are HEROES thanking me!  These are the men and women who are responsible for the freedoms me and my family have today.  They have marched behind Patton into battle, they have landed on the beaches at Normandy, and they have been in the agonizing battles of the South Pacific where in some instances less than 50% of Americans made it out alive.

And they want to give me praise?

These are the soldiers who gave their heart and soul on the battlefields of Asia during the Korean and Vietnam wars.  These are the brave men and women who have fought in the Middle East, enduring heat that a Texas Summer can not compare to, and fighting an enemy that gives no value to human life.

These veterans are some of the best men and women who have ever set foot on this planet, and yet, they go out of their way to make me and every other person at Huntington ISD feel like a hero.  I don't know how I could ever receive a gift greater than that.

This year, someone told me that their 94 year old grandfather and World War II veteran said the following after the program..."Today was one of the best days of my life."

Thank you Huntington ISD for doing what you do and for giving me the opportunity to be blessed as a result.

And thank you, Veterans!