They didn't serve in vain
By Eddie Baza Calvo
Håfa adai, my dear people…
We Guamanians are blessed. We're surrounded by natural beauty. We're supported by our friends, family, and loved ones. We're part of the greatest nation on earth. We are a free people with rights to believe in God, speak our minds, and choose our leaders. Today is Veterans Day. And as I record this address from Camp Roberts, California, where more than 600 of our citizen soldiers ready themselves for a deployment to Afghanistan...I must mention how we on Guam have been blessed by the countless men and women in the armed forces — both past and present, for protecting our rights and freedoms.
Our island has a special connection to the military. It was the military who saved us from oppressive Spanish rule. It was the military who freed us from Japanese occupation. Guam continuously has the highest enlistment rate in the nation. For generations, our men and women have answered the call of duty and risked their lives for us — so that we can continue to have life, liberty, and happiness.
These soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and coastguardsmen stare tyranny and oppression in the face. They fight for justice. They uplift communities in their darkest hours. Their duty is to give all of themselves to island and country, yet they find room to be more giving and charitable to our island's schools and community groups.
To all our Guamanians and Americans who have donned a military uniform in the name of peace and freedom, Happy Veterans Day. You are the perfect example of what it means to be a citizen: loyal, courageous, and heroic. You sacrifice for the greater good. You go above and beyond the call of duty in the name of service. You inspire me to be a better leader. Ray and I, and our entire administration, will always do everything in our power to help you before, during, and after your noble service.
My fellow Guamanians, take the time to thank a veteran today. Take the time to thank them tomorrow. And next week. And next month. Let them know their service is appreciated. Let them know their sacrifices are respected. Thank them because they deserve it. Thank them because we are blessed to have them.
Indeed, we on Guam are blessed. We are blessed to be free, and we are blessed to know and love our veterans.
May God continue to bless our veterans, our families, and Guam. Si Yu'os Ma'ase.