Take time to thank a veteran

U.S. Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, the textbook definition of an American hero, said something profound last week.
“Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciate it when adults thank me for my service,” Galloway said after a Nov. 6 Veterans Day program at Alabaster’s Thompson Sixth Grade Center. “But when it comes from a student when an adult hasn’t told them to say it, it makes you feel so good.”
Galloway, an Alabaster resident, has gained national acclaim over the past few months after he won Men’s Health Magazine’s “Ultimate Guy” contest, beating out 1,300 other contestants to be featured on the front of the magazine in early October.
Over the past few weeks, Galloway has appeared on national television shows such as the “Today” show and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
On Dec. 19, 2005, Galloway was assigned to the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, and was driving an armored Humvee near Baghdad, Iraq, when the vehicle hit a tripwire for an improvised explosive device.
The resulting explosion threw the 9,000-pound Humvee through the air and knocked Galloway unconscious. When he awoke five days later, he was missing portions of his left arm and leg.
“When you’re driving a Humvee at night with no lights on, you wear night-vision goggles. You can see a lot of things, but we didn’t see that tripwire across the road,” Galloway said.
Galloway said he was depressed when he returned home from Iraq, and said he spent his days drinking and sleeping until he looked in the mirror one night and decided to make a change. He then dedicated his life to getting back in shape and inspiring others to do the same.
But unfortunately, not all veterans in Galloway’s situation have such a positive outcomes in their lives.
If you see a man or woman in uniform, take time to thank them for their service to our country. You never know what it could mean to them.