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Veterans are a picture of pride for rural America

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“If you ate today, thank a farmer. If you ate in peace, thank a veteran.”

Now more than ever, this quote has a special meaning to me and my younger sister.

The month of November celebrated National Veterans and Military Families Month.

Ever since we were little girls, we’ve had a passion for learning the history of our great nation and the people who built it, sustain it, and defend it. We’ve always felt a deep connection and reverence for our country’s military service members; our heroes. We grew up hanging onto every word of stories from our grandpa, who was a World War II Marine, and one of his buddies, a three-time Purple Heart recipient, about their service and the sacrifices made by family members and friends. Their stories brought the history books and black and white photos to life. Their stories put faces and families to those who fight for our freedom.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Aleah & Maggie (@smallfarmfamily)

 

As we grew up our heart for the military only deepened as our own friend we grew up with answered the call to serve the United States of America. These friends were farm kids, just like us. Their background in farming had taught them the value of hard work, perseverance, and determination to get a job done.

Our farming turned military friends are not alone; more than 44 percent of military recruits in the year 2004 came from rural areas. Nearly half of recruits were farm kids. Paired with the fact that less than 2 percent of this nation’s population is connected with agriculture, the contribution the agricultural community has made to serving our country in the military is astounding.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Aleah & Maggie (@smallfarmfamily)

 

As time goes on, my sister and I have witnessed a disheartening irreverence for the hard working people who feed our families, defend our families and fight for our freedoms.

The older we get, the more we understand the importance of acknowledging and appreciating the selfless service of those who love our land. The commitment to serving others that drives the actions of both our military veterans and our nation’s farmers and ranchers is something that we should all aspire to.

In an effort to highlight those who undoubtedly deserve the title of hero, throughout November, my sister and I have had the honor of featuring stories from veteran farmers on our Instagram account (@smallfarmfamily).

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Aleah & Maggie (@smallfarmfamily)

 

We believe these heroes have compelling stories to tell, and we are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to share them with you.

Simply listening and honoring their stories of service and sacrifice is the least we can do. We owe them everything we so easily take for granted; the very food on our table, and the peace of living in the home of the brave.

Through the entire year, let’s remember our fallen, remember those who served and remember those who are currently serving. When we remember the love and sacrifices they give to all of us as fellow Americans — no questions asked — maybe that will stir in our hearts a love and appreciation for our country, and we can confidently say, we are proud to be Americans.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Aleah & Maggie (@smallfarmfamily)

 

Aleah Bright-Kasch is a hobby farmer who was born and raised in Washington state and grew up showing Jersey cattle in 4-H. Aleah is enthusiastic about sharing her passion for agriculture and inspiring the future generations of American farmers.

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