Follow the lead of veterans, judge says

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Share this page...
Red White and Blue

RED, WHITE AND BLUE – Zackery Jones, Michael Munchreth, Cody Cox and Timothy Aja post the colors at Sunday’s Veterans Day program in Decatur. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

In a time of political polarization and heated rhetoric in our nation, we should follow the examples of our veterans.

That was the message County Judge J.D. Clark delivered Sunday afternoon at the Veterans Day program hosted by the Wise County Veterans Group at the Memorial Park in Decatur.

Clark said that while our nation is imperfect, it is still the greatest place in the world to live, thanks to the service and sacrifice of our veterans.

“This republic has not been achieved through simple negotiations and discussions. It was created through bloodshed and sacrifice. Throughout our nation’s relatively young history, it has been protected and preserved through bloodshed and sacrifice,” he said.

Veterans provide a guide of how to move past the hyper-partisan polarization in our nation through their oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign or domestic, Clark told the crowd.

“There is no mention of political parties,” he said. “There is no complicated legal language with clauses and exceptions. It is a simple oath to defend our nation’s constitution against those who would seek to undermine it both at home and abroad.”

The judge encouraged others to commit themselves to the same oath when we discuss important issues facing our nation and when we consider candidates for elected office.

“That simple oath allows us to cut through the ceaseless chatter of pundits on television and the constantly clanging type of the keyboard warriors on Facebook. Let us follow the lead of our veterans who pledge above all else to defend the fundamental principals of this nation against those who would wish to undermine those values,” Clark said.

He also said he’d like to see more investment of veterans health resources in rural areas such as providing medical facilities closer to home without requiring hours of driving into a city, and improving broadband in rural areas to experiment with more telemedicine treatment options.

Clark said he’d also like to see the bureaucratic processes streamlined so veterans don’t get bogged down in government red tape when they seek to receive their rightfully-earned benefits.

To that end, he mentioned the county’s Veterans Service Office that helps veterans – at no cost to them – navigate that bureaucratic process to get the help they need.

The county is also seeking to identify and help those veterans who come through the county court system for some type of infraction or crime to determine if they’d benefit from peer counseling, mental health services or drug treatment programs.

“The idea of a Veterans Court is that we should be intervening to help connect our veterans with appropriate resources so that we can potentially prevent a downward spiral into jail time and unresolved issues,” he said. “If we could connect some of these veterans in our court system with real resources it will be a lot more beneficial than simply sending them to sit in jail for a period of time.”

Clark spoke of his own uncle – Ross Redding, who passed away on July 4 this year – and of his placing himself in harm’s way to help save an injured friend during the Vietnam War as an example of the many heroes who call Wise County home.

That home is a better place, he said, thanks to the service of our veterans.

“It may seem like a chaotic time in America, but it’s also a chaotic time in this world,” Clark said. “And there is no place in this world I’d rather live than in the United States of America, and that’s because of that constitution that affirms and guarantees our fundamental rights and freedoms, and because of the men and women who work and defend those rights everyday.”

A Day to Honor

A DAY TO HONOR – Wise County Judge J.D. Clark delivers remarks in front of the crowd that featured many veterans, their families and local citizens at Sunday’s Veterans Day Program at the Wise County Veterans Memorial Park in Decatur. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Token of Appreciation

TOKEN OF APPRECIATION – Veteran Carl Silvey receives a package from Wise County 4-H member Katelyn Karrer as a token of appreciation. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Rememberance Day

REMEMBRANCE DAY – Ernie Roberts displays a red poppy, worn on Remembrance Day each year to remember military personnel who have died in war. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Posting the Colors

POSTING THE COLORS – Shawn Aja salutes as the colors are posted by the Navy Sea Cadets. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Leave a Reply. Note: As of March 24, 2011, all posted comments will include the users full name. News and Blog Comment Guidelines

You must be logged in to post a comment.