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Give Thanks for Our Veterans

November is both a month of thanksgiving and a time for recognizing those among us who have put on a uniform in service to our nation. Here at Nolin RECC, we count veterans and active duty military among those for whom we give thanks every day.

Nolin RECC Honor Flight veterans Cecil Cook, left, and Clarence Collins developed a friendship while in D.C. visiting memorials constructed in their honor. Photo: Tim Webb

There are more than 34,500 men and women in uniform stationed in Kentucky. The commonwealth ranks 12th in the nation for having the most active duty military and reservists living and working within its borders.

According to the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, there are also 304,000 residents of the commonwealth who previously served in the armed forces. They range from those who fought overseas in World War II to individuals who have worn uniforms in more recent years.

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, Nolin RECC will give particular thanks for Mr. Cecil Cook of Elizabethtown, 91, who served during World War II and Mr. Clarence Collins, 83, of Radcliff who served during the Korean War. Nolin RECC sponsored both Army veterans for the Touchstone Energy Honor Flight in September. They were among the Kentucky veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War who flew to Washington, D.C., for a one-day tour of memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifices.

We are thankful for all 68 veterans who made the trip. The 2018 veterans included 97-year-old Henry Howard Smith of Flemingsburg and 96-year-old Frank Zupan of Frenchburg, who are among the oldest WW II veterans living in Kentucky. Army veteran Zupan was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart for valor in combat.

Veterans Day also has another important meaning to your cooperative. Years ago, while Nolin RECC was still taking root in the communities we serve, World War II veterans were often among the first in their communities to sign up for a membership. Some became leaders within the co-op as well. Their influence is ongoing as the cooperative reflects their values of making service to people and community the top priority.

As you gather with family and friends this holiday season, please join Nolin RECC in saying a prayer of gratitude for every man and woman who has put on an armed forces uniform.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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