Why It’s Important To Thank Our Veterans

Tae Ho (Tyler) Roden was honored by Ladies Auxiliary Military Order of the Purple Heart as the winner of the essay contest in observance of Veteran’s Day.

Tae Ho was one of over 130 5th grade students in Chula Vista who participated in the contest. Tae Ho’s essay was chosen as the top essay after an extensive selection process. Tae Ho was also given a 50 dollar gift card to Barnes and Noble and read his essay to the Chula Vista City Council and Mayor as well as the Department of California Purple Heart Convention.

By Tyler Roden
5th Grader in Chula Vista Elementary School District

2012 Essay Contest Winner
Ladies Auxiliary, Military Order of the Purple Heart, San Diego Unit 49

Why It’s Important To Thank Our Veterans

This essay is about why veterans are important. When I first learned about this assignment, I thought about veterans that I know, including my dad. But I decided to use this essay to write about my grandfather, because he was a very special veteran and I think the things that he used to say really tells the story about why veterans are important.

My grandfather’s name was Richard Roden, and he served in the Second World War. He was a Master Sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division and he was one of the first to graduate Airborne School at Fort Bennings, Georgia. Airborne is when you jump out of airplanes!

My grandfather always said that people have to sacrifice in order to keep the world free. That sometimes that sacrifices is fighting far away for other people’s freedom so that we can keep and cherish our won freedom.

He also said that soldiers preferred peace because they had the most at risk, but that sometimes force had to be used against other people that understood only force.

My grandfather lost his eye and most of the use of his right leg during the war in France in 1944. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Croix de Guerre from the French government. All of my great uncles served as well and all of them were wounded in some way in Europe. My great uncle Rutherford (his nickname was “Duty”) was the only one killed. He was a Marine and died during the invasion of Saipan.

Despite my grandpa’s injuries, he always had a great sense of humor and always smiled, even though all his teeth were false because he lost those too when he lost his eye. He always said that every day was a gift.

I think that all our veterans have sacrificed time, careers, health and other things in order to serve. It’s not just about defending America; it’s about defending those that can’t defend themselves. That is why it is important to celebrate the service of our veterans every year. They deserve to be honored and remembered for their sacrifice and service.