Salute the Troops – Veteran’s Day 2022

By Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville

Each November 11, on Veterans Day, we show our appreciation for the brave men and women who served in our nation’s armed forces. In Huntsville, we recognize the vital importance of our military to make our communities and our nation better.  

With many thousands of veterans and active military living in Huntsville, Veterans Day extends into Veterans Week. There are days of ceremonial dinners, luncheons, musical performances, special exhibits and recognitions capped off with a military breakfast before the annual Veterans Day parade.

Through these programs and activities, we pay utmost respect to those who gave their lives for our country. In doing so, I also am mindful of the many contributions by veterans who were fortunate to return home. Nothing gives you a greater appreciation for the lives and freedoms we hold dear than to experience a place where democracy is just a dream, or at worst, is gripped in the ravages of war.
Huntsville’s veterans carry this sensibility. While transitioning from a military career to a civilian one isn’t always easy, I have found our veterans’ training; organizational skills and self-discipline prepare them to be good employees and dedicated family members. They are often active across the spectrum and dedicated toward helping others in the community. You see their involvement in charities and non-profits, as volunteer tutors and mentors, and in leadership roles on boards and commissions. They assist arts organizations and scout groups, join the PTA and places of worship, and are among the first to raise their hand when someone is in need.    

One of the greatest examples of someone with these attributes is my City Administrator, John Hamilton, who spent 23 years in the U.S. Army. A retired Colonel and former Redstone Garrison Commander, John participated in several operational deployments to multiple locations around the world including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, and Iraq. His vast experiences in logistical operations and leadership have made him well-suited to oversee the City’s departments and public needs. John is an excellent listener who is compassionate and tough and can quickly zero in on the most important details. I can always count on John to be laser-focused on getting the job done. 

In my role as mayor, I am fortunate to see these skills in many of Huntsville’s veterans who now own their businesses or work in one of the many defense-related industries. They exhibit a sense of pride and teamwork that contributes to the vitality of our community. Their mission of service is embedded within them for life.
So, this Veterans Week, we will proudly fly the flag of the United States as an expression of gratitude and use this opportunity to honor our veterans, living and fallen, who have made a sacrifice in service to our country.

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