Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Governor Bentley addresses local veterans Monday

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley addressed a group of veterans Monday morning in honor of Veterans Day at an event hosted by the Veterans Memorial Park Association, in spite of cold rain.

“As I’m sitting here about to freeze, I thought of all the difficulties that all of our men and women go through when they’re in combat and all the difficulties that they go through as they serve our country and how easy it is for us,” Bentley said. “They’re uncomfortable most of the time.”

State representative John Merrill referenced Bentley’s time in the U.S. Air Force in the governer’s introduction.

“I think that when the final chapter is written about Robert Bentley’s public civil service, the thing that he will be most proud of is the service he spent from 1969 to 1975 as a member of the U.S. Air Force,” Merrill said. “Of the time that he spent there, serving our veterans and our wounded from Vietnam, I know it touched him in a very, very special way, and I’ve heard him tell so many stories about the lives that influenced and impacted him because of that time that he had.”

Bentley discussed the important role veterans have across generations in fighting for the many freedoms of U.S. citizens.

“I always say Americans would not be free if it were not for our veterans; everything that we enjoy as Americans and Alabamians, we need to thank our veterans,” Bentley said. “We would not be able to do that if it were not for the men and women that sacrifice so much and are willing to serve this country. I’m proud to have served this great country of ours.”

Sgt. Jordan Carpenter, a senior majoring in environmental science, is president of the Campus Veterans Association at The University of Alabama and also spoke at the event. Carpenter is currently in the U.S. Army Reserves and served two deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“My family name has never been signed on any documents of great importance, and I’m definitely not in line for any sum of money in any of my relatives’ path,” Carpenter said. “I’m just one in a long line of patriots who have become active stakeholders in the uniquely American enterprise of defending liberty here and around the world. My family has determined to go to battle, so that the American way of life might be preserved for future generations. It’s one of the proudest traditions I hold dear to my heart.”

Carpenter also reminded the audience to remember the sacrifices made by military families and friends as he talked about his deployments.

“My father’s chest swelled with pride when his two sons deployed at the same time, but my poor mother had to endure that as well – I’m just glad she has hair left,” Carpenter said. “My sister, 19 years old at the time, was on the other end of the phone when I called to tell them that my brother had been shot. ‘Keep praying,’ I said. ‘I think he’s going to be okay,’ even though I didn’t know. My story isn’t rare and my family is not an outlier, this is all too common, now and in generations’ past.”

Although his military obligation will end in two months, Carpenter said his service to his military comrades will not conclude.

“In two months, Lord willing, my military service obligation will end,” Carpenter said. “I will leave the ranks of the U.S. army and gladly claim the title of civilian and veteran. My service, however, cannot end, not while my brothers and sisters at arms are returning from overseas with life changing injuries, both seen and unseen.”

Bentley said U.S. citizens should always honor and thank all veterans every day, regardless of when or where they served.

“The contributions made by the veterans of our nation and our state and this city are immeasurable and we’re thankful for their service,” Bentley said. “Honoring veterans shouldn’t be limited to Veterans Day. We should thank veterans every day. Today we honor you, and we share in our gratitude for you.”


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