A couple of months ago, I got an email from a soldier in Afghanistan — he was requesting some copies of our magazine. Sergeant Montgomery and his platoon had just arrived in the middle of nowhere, at a place known as the Korengal Valley. It’s a remote and mountainous region, and it’s a million miles from the soldiers’ home base in Fort Carson, Colorado.
I don’t know a lot about Sergeant Thaddeus Montgomery, other than the obvious, which is that he’s willing to risk his life for his country. I also know that when Thanksgiving rolls around later this month, he won’t be anywhere near his family or friends in the Southwest. The same is true for thousands of other servicemen and women around the world.
Today is Veterans Day. It’s the one day set aside to honor those men and women who have sacrificed more than we’ll ever know. My youngest brother is among them. Thankfully, he made it home. Sadly, so many others have not. This day is about all of them: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines …. Of course, our gratitude needs to go beyond November 11 every year. Not a day should go by that we don’t think about and honor our veterans. For those of us who haven’t served, it’s impossible to imagine what it’s like to leave your family and friends, knowing you may never come back. Think about that for a second. Think about the courage it must have taken. Well, they did exactly that — over and over and over. At the very least, think about them today. Honor them. And thank them. The same goes for the men and women on active duty.
At Arizona Highways, our military personnel are top of mind every day, thanks to Sergeant Montgomery and his platoon. In addition to the pile of magazines he requested, our staff sent a collection of Arizona-made products and other goodies to Mr. Montgomery’s platoon. That was a few months ago. Since then, we’ve unofficially adopted the platoon. We think about them and talk about them and try to imagine what they’re going through. We also plan on sending them more packages during the holidays. If you’d like to send a care package, too, and help us help these deserving men (there are no women in this particular platoon), the address is: SSG Montgomery, 1st Plt, B CO 2-12 IN BN, COP VEGAS, APO, AE 09354.
On behalf of everyone at Arizona Highways, thank you to all of our veterans, as well as our active servicemen and women around the world. Thank you for allowing us the freedom to make magazines, to be with our families at Thanksgiving and to watch football on Sunday afternoons.
Robert Stieve, Editor