Bentley thanks veterans at WOM

Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a Veterans Day program at Westminster on Nov. 11. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley visited The Westminster School at Oak Mountain to speak about his appreciation for veterans.

The school held its 2011 Grandparents’ Day and Veterans’ Day Program, and the students ran the program by posting the colors, leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem and introducing the governor.

“It’s always good to come back to Shelby County,” Bentley said. “It’s good to come home.”

Bentley said the state of Alabama is home to 420,000 veterans, and called Alabama a “very patriotic state.”

“If not for veterans, we couldn’t have this meeting,” he said, “because without veterans, we wouldn’t be free. Many of them go through difficult times as they transition into civilian life. They go through stress and depression and don’t want to talk about it, but they need to.”

While Bentley did serve in the military, he was never in combat. He said through his medical practice he saw many patients who had been involved in combat.

“We need to remember the wounds of war live with people forever. We need to remember and respect that,” he said.

In response to the Grandparents’ Day portion of the program, Bentley said he has four sons who gave him six granddaughters. While he calls his sons often, his granddaughters have taught him how to text.

“Continue to pray for me and my wife and the cabinet,” he said. “We want to do what’s right for the state. Because of the great people of the state, it makes me honored to be their governor.”