THANK YOU, VETERANS! HONORING MY FAMILY AND THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED THIS VETERANS DAY
November is a time for celebrating family, friends, and great food, which culminates in one big feast at the end of the month. Thanksgiving serves as a great reminder to practice gratitude, but just three weeks before that big day, our country shows appreciation to the veterans who make that big feast possible. I may not have served in the military, but I have witnessed the personal sacrifices soldiers make each day. One of my brothers-in-law is a retired 17-year Marine veteran who was deployed to serve in Afghanistan and other countries. One of my cousins is an Army vet who also spent time in Afghanistan and Iraq. We’re happy to have them back on U.S. soil, and I appreciate their sacrifices of missed holidays and family gatherings for the sake of our country.
too. It’s a source of great pride for me, and even as a little kid, I knew how much this service meant to our country. My grandfather served in the Pacific during World War II in a unique capacity within a medical division of the military behind the front lines. When he returned from his active duty during the war, he transitioned to the Army Reserves and eventually retired from the military after 20 years of service. In WWII, my grandpa worked in the medical field in a MASH unit to make sure the medical teams were diagnosing conditions correctly, and he was a part of ensuring the most effective treatments. He also helped determine the best practices to prevent American soldiers from getting sick and succumbing to tropical diseases their immune systems weren’t prepared to handle. It’s crazy for me to think the man I knew was diagnosing and treating soldiers who were going into battle for our country every day. And when he returned to the U.S., he began a career working as an inspector for the LA County Health Department. He ended up staying in the health care field throughout his career, and I am proud to have continued in that tradition. In an interesting twist, my work today is eerily similar to his military work. I now work with patients every day to find their paths to healing. After consultations, my team and I create treatment plans
to best heal their impairments and get them back to normalcy. I build them up after dangerous ailments and chronic conditions have knocked them down. But, there is one major difference between my grandfather and me. My grandpa’s work was to serve the country and the soldiers who were fighting for the freedoms we enjoy every single day. My work is now possible because of men and women like my grandfather and the soldiers he protected. To mirror the work he did is an honor. Without veterans, we would have nothing. Their service and dedication to our country deserve our honor each day, and Veterans Day serves as a reminder to practice this. I want to personally thank any veteran who is reading this for their service. I know we can never repay your dedication and sacrifice on behalf of this country, but I hope you understand just how much we appreciate you.
But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about my lineage’s military history this Veterans Day,
Have a happy and safe Veterans Day. Be sure to thank the veterans in your life.
–Mark Nowlin • 1 (714) 557-2100
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