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WOODALL: Remember their sacrifice

In his first inaugural address, President Ronald Reagan recalled the story of Martin Treptow, a man who left his barbershop in small town America to go to war in 1917. He was killed in the crossfire on the Western Front trying to deliver a message between battalions.

On his body they found a diary with the inscription, “My Pledge,” under which read, “America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

Treptow’s story serves as a reminder of the kind of individual devotion our military men and women give to our great nation. One sacrifice at a time, these heroes have safeguarded America as she has grown into the beacon of liberty and freedom that she is today. I know the members of the Armed Forces today have chosen the path of public service for the same reasons Martin Treptow did. I am eternally grateful for their choice to serve, and for the sacrifice that so many endure. To those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and are looking down on us today, I join with all Americans and say, “We remember. Thank you.”

If you have flown into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you have probably seen a few folks in uniform walking through the terminals. Coming back from a long week in Washington, I am a proud American watching these men and women get a warm welcome home from friends, family members and devoted volunteers with Operation Home Front. We have the strongest military in the world, and each of its members has his or her own special story filled with people they love and that they must leave behind. This is a sacrifice they make for you and for me.

This Memorial Day, I would encourage you to thank a veteran or service member for what they do for our nation. Remember to honor and pray for the families of the 21 servicemen right here in the 7th District who have given their lives for America since 2004.

In closing, I want to thank each and every member of the Armed Forces from the 7th District and all the veterans I have the privilege of representing as their congressman. We must never forget that our nation was built on the backs of these brave men and women, men like Martin Treptow.

Americans are forever in their debt, and we will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they have paid for our liberty and freedom. God bless you, our military and their families, and the United States of America.

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Rules Committee.