Remembering those who have served

Remembering those who have served
By: Wes Wallace
Sikeston, MO & Carbondale, IL - The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates the number of vets nearly doubled since 1995 to five million. Many of those men and women who served their country attended Memorial Day services, including Sgt. Eric Percy, with the 1st Tank Battalion. "I was there for the start of the Iraq War in 2003," Percy says, "I worked on tanks, fixed and repaired them."
Like many others in the military, Percy seems very modest about his contribution; however, it wasn't modesty that earned him a purple heart. "My convoy got attacked by an RPG; I got hit with some shrapnel that's about it."
Even so, he remains focused on those still serving in the military. "My thoughts go to the people there right now, still serving, they're the ones doing the heartache, not use back here having the ceremony," explains Percy. The Piedmont native says it's important to take time out for hero's past and present.
Meanwhile in Carbondale, another recent veteran Staff Sergeant Jeff Rose with the Illinois National Guard, talks about his previous thoughts of Memorial Day. "It's a holiday, you go to the lake; spend time with your family, fun stuff." But the Iraq War veteran says the meaning has changed. "Now it's a different appreciation for it, coming here and being asked to do this was a huge honor." Rose spoke at Carbondale's Memorial Day event at the historic Woodlawn Cemetery.
"Memorial Day is for a reason, we have people giving their lives for us, for our country, for all who've served, it's the least we can do to take time out and say thanks."
Rose says he doesn't consider himself a hero, giving just another example of those veterans who take little credit for giving so much.