While we celebrate our nation’s independence this 4th of July with fireworks, good food and friends, let us not forget those who have sacrificed and served in order to obtain and defend the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Below, Gallup-area veterans talk about what Independence Day means to them.
Ronnie D. Brittain
Army / National Guard, 1973 -1984
Southeast Asia, Vietnam
Freedom for everyone to do what you wish to do, as long as it is constructive not destructive. We need to keep our country free for our grandchildren and their children when it comes time for them to become adults.
U.S. Navy, 1969-1972
Southeast Asia, Indochina
As a citizen I was caught up in the hoopla of both “cookouts” and “fireworks.” Now, as both a citizen and a vet, I perceive Independence Day as a holiday to remember those who both fought and gave their lives for freedom and justice.
U.S. Army, 1966-1969
Vietnam II Corp, Central Highlands
Independence Day means freedom and a new way of life.
U.S. Marine Corps, 2009-2012
The 4th of July is a day that many Americans take for granted . . . I take pride in knowing there will always be men and women willing to stand up and fight at a moment’s notice, willing to give it all.
U.S. Marine Corps, 1997-2003
2 Tours in Middle East, 1 Tour in Africa, 3 Tours of West Pacific
As a veteran, Independence Day is the reassurance of the check that I wrote, payable to the people of the United States of America, in the amount of one life, if necessary. It’s a celebration. The pride of being an American is amazing. I could never be anywhere else.
Bryan Kamps, MD
U.S. Army Reserve
1997-1998, 396 Combat Support Hospital, Tuzla, Bosnia
2003-2004, 452nd Combat Support Hospital, Bagram, Afghanistan
2006, 3297th U.S. Army Hospital, Landstuhl, Germany
Independence Day, to me, means celebrating our country’s independence and the military, which was directly responsible for gaining that independence and continues to ensure that it remains possible. We remember how much we owe to the military for what we enjoy in this country.
U.S. Air Force, 1966-1970
The 4th of July celebrates the day we became a free independent nation. Importance of freedom.
Phillip G. Ramirez, Jr.
New Mexico Army National Guard
2005-2006, Operation Iraqi Freedom
It shows what a country can do when they put God first. One nation under God. Thank a veteran.
Joe C. Zecca
It means so much to have the choice to vote for who I want, worship as I please, to be able to walk the streets without fear, to choose friends. Freedom to be myself. Freedom from oppression.