When Malcolm Smith was eight, his father said to him “there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
Years removed from his childhood, Malcolm has never forgotten that popular John Holmes quote. Today Malcolm, 44, is an Army Veteran and a father himself. After serving over 20 years in the military, Fisher and his family settled in Roanoke County in 2009.
Malcolm is just one of many Veterans currently living in Southwest Virginia. Several Salem based events recently took place to honor the brave men and women who proudly defend and serve this country.
On Thursday, November 9, Salem Terrace at Harrogate held their Annual Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony. Two events were held on Monday, November 12: a Veterans Day Pinning Celebration at the Adult Care Center of the Roanoke Valley and a Veterans gathering at the Salem Moose Family Center. On Tuesday, November 13, a Veterans Town Hall, featuring Delegate Sam Rasoul, happened at the American Legion Post 3 building.
“For the past seven years, Salem Terrace has recognized our nation’s Veterans on or around Veterans Day,” Danna Owens, Salem Terrace Marketing Director, said. “Without their bravery and sacrifice, we would not have the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Robert King, a Navy Veteran for 25 years, said, “My military experience had a huge positive impact on my life. Fighting alongside my brothers were some of the best years of my life. I often tell people that I entered the military as a boy, but I left as a man.”
Over the course of 30 years, 1960-1990, John Inge served in the United States Air Force. In addition to providing air support for naval and land forces, John also provided resources for troops in the field and worked as a logistics officer.
“I understand that the military isn’t for everybody, but I consider my time in the Air Force some of the best years of my life,” Inge said. “It’s an absolute honor to be called a ‘Veteran.’”
Towards the end of last Monday’s Moose Family Center gathering, Navy Veteran Vicki Farthing addressed all in attendance. “I look forward to events like this because it puts so many things in its proper perspective. It does my heart well to see all of you here today,” she said.
Jim Wiles began his four years of service in the Army service in 1965. Wiles on Veterans Day means to him: “For most, it’s simply a public holiday to honor all US Veterans and victims of all wars. Personally, it’s my favorite day of the year. I always enjoy being in the presence of other Veterans.”