POMEROY — “Please do not let Veterans Day be the only day of remembrance for our veterans,” said Dr. Rob Wyatt who served in Iraq with the U. S. Army as the officer in charge of Combat Stress Control at Camp Taji, when he spoke at Monday’s Veterans Day service.
“They sacrifice, we need to give support,” said Dr. Wyatt after relating some of his personal experiences of contacts with soldiers who had been in a combat environment for three years.
He said some described themselves as having been gone from home so long that they have trouble relating to their families and they to him.
“The public has a lack of understanding of the sacrifice of our military members,” said Wyatt, adding that they and their families deserve our recognition and remembrance, not just today but every day. He said that since the end of the Vietnam War the country has gone to an all-volunteer force which means that there are many who come from a place of disadvantage and may be somewhat less able to tolerate the strain of military life away from supportive families. .
Wyatt commented that just the sight of a helicopter landing on the football field recently left him in a “dark place,” taking him back t0 2008 when there was an upswing in violence in Iraq.
After serving in the military for several years, Wyatt returned to Meigs County and is currently working as the medical director for the Tri-County Mental Health in Athens.
The Veterans Day service, sponsored by Drew Webster Post 39, American Legion, opened with a welcome from Joe Struble, a prayer by the Rev. James Keesee,and the National Anthem played by the Southern High School Band directed by Chad Dodson.
Post Commander John Hood spoke noting that the celebration marked the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War in which 58,000 died. He spoke of the debt we owe for all those over the years who have fought for our freedom. A gun salute, music by the band with taps by Jacob Hoback, and a prayer by the Rev. Keesee concluded the impressive service honoring veterans of all wars.