‘IT’S ABOUT THEM’: Veterans honored at annual breakfast

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 10, 2018

For Dr. (Lieutenant Colonel, Retired) Christopher Shannon, standing before a gathering of American veterans and talking about service and sacrifice was something he never felt comfortable with doing.

Yet, Shannon stood before a large group of veterans and their spouses Friday and talked about the service and sacrifices of America’s veterans and thanked those in attendance.

“Even though I had 28 years in the United States Air Force and had served in 13 countries, somehow I felt unworthy to speak before veterans,” Shannon said, “There was something irreverent about talking to those who had given so much and sacrificed so much. I had not been in combat where my life was in peril. But something happened that changed my mind — something that caused me to stand before veterans.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Shannon, assistant professor of Leadership and Ethics at the Air University, was the guest speaker at the 19th Annual Veterans Day Breakfast Program hosted annually by the Colley Senior Complex at the Troy Recreation Center Friday morning.

Shannon described himself as a “country boy from Mississippi,” who had a mother and father who taught him to put up a shield in the face of adversity, to love and respect the American flag and to honor those who sacrificed for the freedoms Americans enjoy.

But it was not until September 28, 2018 that Shannon understood that service and sacrifice for country, for the American way of life, is delivered in many different ways.

Shannon and his family were at Montgomery Regional Airport to see his youngest son off for a 365-day deployment to Turkey. A heavy plated glass window was the barrier between the soldier and his family. The soldier’s wife and young children placed their hands on the glass and the soldier matched his with theirs.

“But they could not feel each other’s touch,” Shannon said. “My eyes started to ‘sweat’ as I realized this was not about me. It’s about those who answer their country’s call and those who stay behind.

Catherine Jordan, Colley Senior Complex, director, expressed appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all veterans for their dedication to their country and their willingness to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that America will be continue to be land of the free and the home of the brave.