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Far too often, our men and women in service to our country are forgotten while they put themselves in harms way to keep America safe from the likes of terrorists and other people that would do us harm.  Today is Veterans Day, and here at My Dreams of Disney, we remember that so many people have given of themselves — and sometimes paid the ultimate price — so that the rest of us could enjoy the freedoms that our great country has provided to us.  So for today, we are remembering all of you — the men and women of our armed forces, and their parents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters that have paid such a heavy price in service to our country. Sit back, enjoy the pictures, and remember the sacrifice that our troops — and their families — give of themselves day in and day out, to keep their loved ones and all of us safe in America.

Our first contribution today comes to us from Alyssa H., who has this very special message to share:

My name is Alyssa H.,
Why this photo is special to me, Because the man in it is my husband Nicolas who has been to Afghanistan more than once & to other war zones as well. He is the man our son Nathan looks up to everyday.

Our next contribution comes to me from my good friend Donna, who is the creator of the blog Disney Donna Kay (and a Blogorail Member with me on the Magical Blogorail Red line!)  Here is what she had to say:

Mike,
Here is my picture of Eric.  This was taken the morning he deployed to Afghanistan, he is with the 101st Airborne out of Ft. Campbell, Ky.  He deployed on September 3rd when my grandson that he is holding was just over a month old. My blog is Disney Donna Kay.
Thanks!
Donna Kay

For our next contribution, I received some pictures from my friend Doug.  Doug recently visited Australia with his wife, and on one of their days there, happened across the special ceremony that Australia has for it’s Vietnam Veterans Day, which is August 17th.  They celebrate a special day just for Vietnam Veterans because it was the conflict that Australia lost the most countrymen in.  I wanted to share these photos with you to remember all of our great allies that have lost troops defending freedom throughout the world.


At this point I wanted to take a moment and share some pictures from some of our family that have served.  Here are their pictures.

Cindy’s Uncle Tom — Retired Navy
Cindy’s Uncle Ted and Aunt Connie. Uncle Ted served in the Army.
My niece Leslie and my sister Robin, at Bootcamp Graduation.

There were others, but these were all the photos that I was able to coerce out of relatives on short notice! :)


Now I’d like to share a special card that my friend Beth from Pursuing the Magic received — or more specifically, that her Dad received at Walt Disney World.  Here is what Beth had to say:

My dad was with my three children waiting near the bus depot at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, while Pierre and I were finishing getting ready for the day.  A Disney Cast Member noticed my dad’s Marine Corps jacket, walked up to him and struck up a conversation.  My dad told him about his experiences as a Marine.  He thanked  my dad and handed him the card I have photos of below.  This moment was very special for my dad.  When he was a Marine, it was a time during this country’s history that soldiers were not treated the way they are today.  I am so thankful that times have changed for our country.  I am also so thankful to this Cast Member because he really made my dad’s day.

You can read the rest of Beth’s story at her special post from last year about Veterans Day!

Pursuing the Magic, Veterans Day, Walt Disney World

Pursuing the Magic, Veterans Day, Walt Disney World


Next up is my friend Dulcie, one of the great Pixie Vacations travel agents, and a writer for Chip & Company! Dulcie is a Military Wife, her husband serves in the Navy. Here is what she had to say (she actually shared this during our Celebrations Disney In Pictures post, but I thought it appropriate for today as well):

Aug 22 2009
It was our daughter’s 5th birthday and my husband was picked to do the Flag Retreat Ceremony at WDW!! He had just returned from sea and wasn’t able to stay for the full birthday trip but we were glad that he was able to make it down for the day of her birthday.We were so excited when he was chosen to do be the Veteran of the Day! We celebrated our daughter turning 5 and his homecoming all in one very special day!!

Disney In Pictures "Celebrations", My Dreams of Disney


Next up is Chyanna. She had this to say about her husband David:

My name is Chyanna R.  I wanted to share a picture of my husband David.  It was taken in April 2003 when our troops first went into Iraq.  This is my husband patrolling Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad.  This picture is the best picture of him taken in Iraq.

Thanks so much for honoring our troops,

Chyanna

 


The next post in our tribute to our heroes comes to me from Aunesty, who writes to us of her son. Here is what she had to say:

I am the extremely proud mother of a soldier in the US Army.  Words cannot express the respect, pride and love I have for him.  All he has done, been through and will go through to protect our freedoms puts me in awe.  I sent him off as a teenager with goals for his future, but the Army has given me back a man who loves and respects his country, his family and himself.

The attached photos:

These are from family day at BCT – the day before graduation

One is me with my son and daughter, this was the first time in 3 months I got to see my son.

The other photo – My son’s best friend is a Marine, he has served two duties overseas, one in Afghanistan.  We surprised my son by bringing him with us for his family day and graduation, they hadn’t seen each other in 2 years.  We were fortunate that he was stationed at a base three hours away from my son.

We are bloggers, and our main blog is The Temporary Tourist!

 Thank you!

{Editor’s Note: Aunesty and everyone else, thank you for the service, sacrifice, and committment that each and every one of you give to keep my family and the rest of us safe.  As they say at the conclusion of the Lord of the Rings movies — “My friends, you bow to no one.” — and it is us that haven’t served that need to be reminded to thank all of you for your dedication.}


My Dreams of Disney reader Katie shared a photo with us on our Facebook page, and so I saved it to share with all of you here. Here is what Katie had to say:

My husband and I when we were both Active Duty on our first trip to Disney together! I am out of the military now but he is still Active Duty! We are a Disney Family for sure!!


Before I wrap things up, I wanted to share with you some of the silent photos that you can take around the Washington, DC area where I grew up. It is because of the sacrifice of so many that these buildings exist, not just for the beauty and splendor, the peace and tranquility, but also to honor those that came before and fought for the freedoms that we enjoy to this day.

Vietnam Memorial, Veterans Day, Washington, DC, My Dreams of Disney
At the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.
National World War II Memorial, Veterans Day, My Dreams of Disney, Washington, DC
With the Washington Monument in the background.
National World War II Memorial, Veterans Day, My Dreams of Disney, Washington, DC
The fountain and some of the pillars at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.
The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC, Veterans Day, My Dreams of Disney
The majesty of just one of the monuments in Washington DC as seen at night.

The last photo I have to share with you comes to you from my father. I grew up in the Northern Virginia area, where my parents still live, so we are immersed in all that is Washington DC — it’s monuments, the Pentagon, the center of power, all the trappings. This last photo, as well as the ones previously, serve to me as a reminder of the lives that we have lost, and that we as a country can never forget the sacrifice that so many have paid to secure and maintain our freedom.  Thank you all for reading, smiling at the pictures of your loved ones, and most of all — for remembering the sacrifice our troops and their families make for us on a daily basis.  I normally close at the end of the last picture, but for today, the silence of this photo will speak louder then any words I could write.  God Bless our men and women, their families, and the United States of America.

Changing of the Guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

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