3rd District commander’s January 2024 report

By Rod Reifsteck

According to the dictionary, Americanism means a patriotic ideology centered on the American government, culture and traditions. One would have had to see and feel the patriotism over the Veterans Day weekend events that makes veterans today feel good.

It was the actions and visibility of what veterans feel — that the country does care by showing Americanism.

Rod Reifsteck

As for myself, it is hard not to overindulge due to the appreciation of free meals offered that are abundant to veterans, especially in the larger cities. In many of the restaurants I visited, a drill sergeant could have said “Fall in!” and I would have bet the entire restaurant would have emptied out in formation.

This indeed just proves the honor we all have in today’s world. It was great to feel the passion of past and current veterans. A huge “thank you” to all the businesses who support our country and its veterans.

On a more personal note, I would like to share a bit of the inspirational life of my brother-in-law Douglas, who lost his battle with cancer in September. He was a Vietnam veteran who in 1970 stepped on a landmine and was quickly flown to a hospital ship where doctors were unable to save his eyesight. They removed much of his right leg.

After time in rehabilitation to learn Braille and how to function in the “normal” world, he went to law school and graduated with honors in 1975. He was then hired by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington and served 45 years helping to set policies and regulations for the telecommunication industry.

He was such an inspiration to everyone he met but never felt he was any different than anyone else. He was not bitter about his experience. He would always say: “I was lucky enough to be born in a free country. The price that I paid was so that my family could live in a free country.”

When people would say that he gave so much more than they did, he would say, “Everyone who stood up to do whatever was asked of them, whether drafted or enlisted, whether in the Guard, Reserves or full-time service, were all equal in their service to our country.”

Amen to that.

As your commander, I would be happy to visit with anyone who wants to share personal experiences during their military career. I encourage all my 3rd District vice commanders to visit their posts. We need to count our blessings as we enjoy our holidays with family members and friends and give special thanks to those who can’t attend or be with us this season.

Keep up the can-do spirit.