With the war in Iraq and the recent controversy over Senator John Kerry's statements about troops, serving our country is often a political and divisive issue. But with Veterans Day just a week away, some Eastern Kentucky veterans and officials who are reminding people to support the troops.
In the midst of the war in Iraq, one community is gathering to honor veterans, soldiers serving overseas, and to educate youth about the importance of the military. Saturday, Attorney General Greg Stumbo came back to his hometown of Prestonsburg to celebrate those who have served their country.
"If you look at veterans, they don't quit serving even after their military experience is over when they come back to their communities," Stumbo said.
Stumbo cosponsored a bill that has made Veteran's Day a state holiday in Kentucky. He says the state does more than just let kids out of school for the day.
"What's required by law is veterans groups or some veterans come to the school and talk to the kids about the experience of serving in the military," Stumbo said.
One local veteran say the law is good way to show children what military service means to our nation's history.
"By letting them see us and the way we carry our duties on at the D.A.V. or wherever there's service, that would be a great influence on them," said U.S. Army Veteran Odell Branham.
But some veterans are saying they don't want issues with the current war to affect people's feelings towards the troops.
"I think the people of the United States need to remember our troops and especially with what's going on right now. Regardless if you're a Democrat or Republican, we need to support our troops," said U.S. Army Veteran Duane Hamilton.
"They're serving so that we can if we choose criticize the war. We're not criticizing the troops. They're there under the command of the President," Stumbo added.
Stumbo and these veterans hope the region will at least support the troops in Iraq whether they agree with the war or not.
The city of Prestonsburg holds their local veterans ceremony every year near the time of the national Veterans Day.
Attorney General Greg Stumbo also added that it is very important to vote this coming Tuesday because sometimes one vote really does count.