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Anonymous gift hammers home the message

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Sometimes it just takes something so unexpected -- and so unbelievably appreciated -- for us to remember how lucky we are to be stationed here and be serving in the Armed Forces at this time in our nation's history.

Let me tell you a little story that will help explain what I'm talking about.

Last week, a bunch of us were at a local restaurant having lunch to celebrate a Wingman's birthday.

Just as we were getting ready to pay, the waitress stepped in and told us our entire group bill had been paid for by a gentleman who desired to remain anonymous. We were all stunned and blown away that someone who none of us would ever know would be so generous.

But then it quickly dawned on me that maybe we shouldn't have been either stunned or blown away at all.

Like I said, we're living here on the Space Coast.

I can't think of a single area anywhere in the country who cares more about all of our joint-forces troops than the folks in this community.

From our Brevard County Civilian - Military Council (Civ-Mil), to the Military Affairs Council (MAC), to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) -- and to all those other groups and outstanding individuals like 'Anonymous' who support and take care of us -- I salute you.

We all salute you.

We should all be proud of our service, our uniforms, and what we represent. We should be gracious and thankful for the trust and faith the American public puts in us -- to defend our great Nation's freedoms. They know we devote our lives to the principles that make this country free.

I fully believe that this is the best time in American history to serve our great Nation. Not since the ticker tape parades of World War II has the American public been so supportive of military members.

It wasn't always this way.

On the evening of April 20, 2015, I am currently scheduled to speak right after Medal of Honor winner, Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris at Florida's 28th Annual Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion held at Wickham Park, directly in front of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, in Melbourne, Florida.

It is my honor to do so, because many of these Vietnam veterans did NOT receive the kind of pride and respect that we get when they came home from an overseas tour -- or even while serving here in stateside duty.

And in my personal opinion, one of that generation's greatest legacies is these men and women Vets continue to do everything humanly possible to ensure it has never happened again -- and never will.

I plan on thanking a Vet that Monday evening.

I hope you can be there to join me.

They certainly deserve it!

Stay Focused, Sharks!