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U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry
Dear Friend,

Today, November 11, 2018, is Veterans Day, a day that offers us the chance to show our gratitude to those who have bravely served our country in the military.  Their service in defending our country and protecting our rights provides all of us the wonderful opportunities that come from being Americans.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I.  The war ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.  The centennial gives us the chance to reflect on the sacrifice and also the aftermath of the most destructive war the world had seen so far. 

In September 1917, the ranks of the 359th Infantry Regiment was organized, along with the 90th Division, and filled with Texans and Oklahomans, many of which were from our area.  One of those soldiers filling the ranks was Sergeant George Splawn.

Sergeant Splawn was from the small area of Greenwood, Texas, in Wise County.  Before his 23rd birthday, he registered for conscription and ended up with the 90th Division of the United States Army.  They deployed to France in June of 1918.  The 90th Division participated in the successful Battle of Saint-Mihiel. 

Like many warfighters in the “Great War,” some of his records were lost once he landed overseas.  Sergeant Splawn died of disease in Paris after the Armistice ended the fighting.  This year, I had the honor of visiting Sergeant Splawn’s grave to lay a wreath and show my gratitude for his service to our country.

Our military men and women risk their lives for our country, and many of those people are our friends, family, and neighbors.  Today is a day to remember the wars of our nation’s past and to thank those who fought to keep us safe from adversaries across the world.  It is a day to remember those who fought for our country to give us the freedoms we enjoy.  And today is a day to remember that we must continue to prepare our veterans for life after war and to support them when they return home.

Our veterans have provided an invaluable service to our country, and our country owes them the best in return.  As friends, family, and neighbors we are tasked with listening to their needs and stories and learning from the past, making sure their service and sacrifice is not wasted.

As you know, after World War I America withdrew from Europe, refused to join the League of Nations, and a little more than 20 years later was again drawn into a world war that was even bigger and more destructive.  After that, we stayed engaged, and the world has benefitted from America's leadership and the continued service and sacrifice from more recent veterans. 

Sally and I thank our veterans and our servicemembers, not only today, but every day.  Thank you and your families for your sacrifices and for making our American way of life possible.

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