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Veterans Appreciation Luncheon Live November 2012
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Veterans and Their 'Amazing Stories' Honored at Annual Luncheon

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2012 [9:49 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A total of 188 stories gathered for lunch Monday at Lindsey Wilson College.

The 188 stories were the veterans and spouses who attended the 10th-annual LWC Veterans Appreciation Luncheon, held in Roberta D. Cranmer Dining Center. The event is sponsored by the LWC National Alumni Association.

"Every veteran has a story," said LWC Dean of the Chapel Terry Swan, who gave the keynote address. "What a remarkable group of people that has gathered just for lunch, and what amazing stories each of you has to tell. And we need to hear those stories because we are losing the voices."

Swan, who is a retired colonel in the Army Reserve, called the veterans part of "the company of the committed who stood proudly as patriots and answered our country's call."

"You get two veterans together, and there is this meshing that occurs -- this collection, this band of brothers, this camaraderie," Swan said. "I really don't think that anyone outside of the military can understand it. Unless you've been in it, you just don't get it."

Swan praised the veterans for persevering through military life.

"You put up with hardship, deprivation, sleepless nights and being in harm's way," he said. "But would you agree also … they were also some of the most memorable years of your life. … It was a time of coming of age. You were very young, and yet you became old and very mature very quickly, and you saw the world."

Swan noted that America loses daily of 500-600 veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

"We're losing their voices," said Swan, whose late father, Wilbur, was part of the Normandy invasion. "A generation is passing and the torch is being passed on; a new generation of freedom fighters are stepping in their places."

It's equally important, however, for society to remember all veterans' stories, Swan said.

"You answered the call," he said. "Every single one of you here was important -- part of a big organic machine that was America's military. … You served with honor, and that's why we honor you today. You are the champions of democracy. We will not forget you. We affirm you, and we salute you."

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