SALUTE TO AMERICAN WORLD WAR VETERANS LETTER TO THE EDITOR!

Tony Fiore, age 87, clad in blue shirt and shorts, wearing a cap and eyeglasses, and author of the below article is pictured in the left rear of this photo taken at the Suncoast Area Local Retirees Chapter luncheon held at Buddy Freddys Buffet Restaurant, Holiday, Fl. on Tue., March 27, 2007. (Photo taken with a Kodak 800 speed Flash camera by President Jack Gose)
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REMEMBER ARMED FORCES DAY by Tony Fiore
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Dear Editor: On Saturday, May 19th, 2007 it will be Armed Forces Day. In 1944, 16,535,000 Americans were in uniform. That was World War II and 16,129,000 survived. As of Sept. 6, 2006, 3,064,236 were still alive. According to the U.S. Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, 1,100 are dying every day, about 400,000 each year.
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It is sad but true, the World War II veterans will soon be gone. We must recognize them while they are still here. If your neighbor is 79 or older, he or she is probably a World War II veteran.
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World War I (1917-1918) 4,744,000 fought in that war, supposedly the war to end all wars. 116,000 were killed. As of July 1, 1998, 4,800 were still living. But it’s now 2007 and at the last count that number is down to eight.
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The Korean Conflict (1950-1955), “The Forgotten War” 6,807,000 were there. 55,000 gave their lives in an effort to stop the spread of communism. In July 1955, the Korean War Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. Inscribed on the granite slab is “Our Nation Honors Her Sons and Daughters Who Answered the Call to Defend a Country They Never Knew and a People They Never Met” – 1950-Korea-1953.
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The Vietnam Era (1964-1975), 9,200,000 answered the call with 58,151 dead. The Gulf War 3,800,000 were there and 9,000 now dead. We now have Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes, we are at war. In Iraq, the toll for young men and women killed is up over 3,600 and in Afghanistan over 407 killed. We offer only our prayers and hope they will soon return home.
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We owe a lot to the Armed Forces, past and present. God Bless America.
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[Tony Fiore is an active APWU member of the Florida Suncoast Retiree Chapter #1228, and lives in Gulfport, FL 33707. He attends the Local Chapter luncheon and business meetings in Holiday, FL., and is a contributing writer to the Gulfport Gabber area newsletter from which the above article was retrieved and updated.]

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