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Montgomery County takes pride in honoring veterans

Courier of Montgomery County Editorial

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Washington, November 11, 2017 | comments
Freedom isn't free. We stand for our national anthem and our flag; honor, respect and appreciate our veterans for their service.

Montgomery County residents understand and live by these values recognizing the military men and women who have served our country.

And today, on Veterans Day, as we celebrate our servicemen and women, The Courier couldn't be prouder of our readers, who submitted more than 225 photos for today's salute to our troops. We hope you enjoy perusing the photos and information of each one, maybe even shedding a tear as the images touch your heart.

This is a very special weekend for Montgomery County, as the Veterans War Memorial in downtown Conroe will be decommissioned in preparation for a new memorial under Retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. and former County Judge Jimmie Edwards' grand mission to build a larger, more detailed and appropriate memorial for those who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedoms and others around the world.

There will be several events honoring veterans today, then at 4 p.m. Sunday, the decommissioning ceremony will take place at the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park. The Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission will continue to embark on its fundraising efforts and project to construct the new memorial by the Montgomery County Flag Park along Interstate 45.

"The park, brick by brick, pole by pole and bench by bench, will be moved to a new site," Edwards previously told The Courier regarding the decommissioning and reconstruction projects. "We are only limited by what our perception of what this park should be. (We want it to be) a place that people can come to, a place of serenity, peace or reconciliation. It can be a lot of things."

Edwards, who lost both his legs to a bomb in Vietnam, understands freedom isn't free and has big dreams for not only the memorial honoring those who died serving our country, but also some type of monument recognizing all veterans who have a connection to Montgomery County.

Edwards has served our county, our country and all American citizens in his lifetime; and Montgomery County residents and businesses now should support him in his efforts, as our Commissioners Court members already have done.

Edwards' initiative is the highlight of a handful of county leaders' efforts over the past year to improve the lives of veterans.

As reported in Friday's edition of The Courier, the Veterans Treatment Court, spearheaded by Judge Kathleen Hamilton in her 359th state District Court, just received a $100,000 grant. Hamilton has done an outstanding job of overseeing this court to help veterans who have run into certain legal and other issues get their lives back on track.

Last December, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, helped celebrate the relocation and expansion of the Conroe VA Clinic. Brady has been a key leader and champion in ensuring that services of the VA clinic continue to grow in the area.

And finally, retired Marine Bill O'Sullivan, of The Woodlands, and our local elected officials, including state Rep. Will Metcalf and state Sen. Brandon Creighton, both of Conroe, helped raise awareness through a House Concurrent Resolution that advocated for veterans to be able to receive treatment from any medical facility or doctor that would accept veteran-level payments, similar to John McCain's congressional bill. O'Sullivan just wants to ensure the approximately 20 million veterans across the nation are properly cared for and receive the necessary treatment in a timely fashion.

These efforts reflect the patriotism and pride for our military across Montgomery County. We honor veterans every day, and especially today, on Veterans Day.

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