This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Dad's speech

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Today, my dad spoke before the Mukwonago Veterans during their Memorial Day celebration.

As a veteran of the United States Army and United States Army Reserve, my dad celebrates this day with a true sense of appreciation.

He made known his deep appreciation for the sacrifices of his fellow veterans which have shaped this great nation, those both with us and along with those that have perished.

I've included a few excerpts from his speech below. I hope you'll take the time to read it.

Join me in taking a moment to thank the selfless veterans that have served our great nation, thank you and God bless.

Kelli Thompson

Tommy G. Thompson Memorial Day Speech
Mukwonago Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 28, 2012, 10:00am

Today we are here not out of obligation, but something at its very core much stronger...appreciation.  An appreciation for our veterans...which can't be fully expressed with words.

We are here because of those we know and those we don't know--bring us together. Our veterans whom have served as soldiers, sailors, airmen Marines, Coast Guardsmen and merchant marines, giving their life in defense of our great nation. 

Perhaps it is our fallen veterans that serve as our greatest reminder...that peace is fragile and that life is both sacred and fleeting.
While their names gracing the monuments erected in their honor may provide is the memories weighing heavy on our heart--forcing us to never forget their great sacrifice.

I borrow the simple words of the Commander of American Forces in World War I, General John Pershing:

"Time will not dim the glory of their deeds."

The deeds of three sisters...from New Berlin, just north of here...twin sisters Michelle and Charity, who along with Rachel all served in Operation Iraqi Freedom...Rachel returned, as did Charity....but they left behind their sister, Michelle---the first female National Guardsman killed in active duty.  Michelle was a proud member of the 32nd MP Division...and now rests at Wood National Cemetery. 

The deeds of Waukesha native Daren Hidalgo...the 2009 West Point graduate was the youngest of the family's three boys-all enlisted.  1st Lt. Daren Hidalgo was serving his first deployment in Afghanistan as a platoon commander.  He had been wounded in an IED attack but refused to leave his soldiers to seek treatment for shrapnel wounds to his thigh-telling his father, "Dad, if I have surgery I'll be away from my men. It could be two weeks to six weeks before I am back." Two weeks later...after declining medical treatment...he was killed by an IED.

We owe Daren, Michelle and the countless others something...although the honor of the day seems an improper payment for the debt of their bravery and sacrifice. 

To talk with the family and friends of Michelle and Daren and the others that have perished, the anthem is strikingly consistent...those whom have passed knew of the risks, but responded to a higher a commitment.

As said by the great Winston Churchill, "Each died for a cause they considered more important than their own life." 

We must always be looking ahead to the dangers of tomorrow...but today, we take a moment to express gratitude and remind ourselves that it was the sacrifices made during the battles of yesterday....that provide us with the hope...and...strength to approach tomorrow with optimism.  Optimism in knowing our country has the stuff by which the envy of other nations is defined!

I believe in a which our schools start the day with the pledge of allegiance... and our pride swells that very first time a child-or grandchild--recites the pledge to you, that innocent young voice giving a renewed meaning to, "life, liberty and justice for all."

I believe in a which you and I stand a little straighter and extend a nod of appreciation when walking by a man or woman in an armed services uniform.

I believe in a which you can't help but fight back a tear when watching that Korean or WW II veteran we saw walk by today, backs bent with the past-burden of our nation's weight...stand just a little we salute them.

I believe in a which a hand over our heart isn't just a sign of respect...but rather a means for containing a bursting pride, "In (our) land of the free and home of the brave."

Today we will talk of honor, glory, valor and the selfless commitment of those unable to escape the dark cloud of war...but there's something else that runs through the blood of all of us here today expressing both our gratitude and admiration.   It's we are humbled to be within the presence of true heroes.

Our heroes...those who have gone before us and those who walk quietly among us. Like the men and woman we'll see leave here today...tucking their well-worn garrison cover into their back pocket--having fought the battles of yesterday.  Heroes...who asked not for the today's their ask was much more simple:  please give us a day. A single day...Memorial Day.  It was not a day to celebrate their achievements...but rather a day for our veterans to remember those who had fallen.

By the grace of god, it is their sacrifice which allows us to stand with humility today...and why as parents and grandparents...we must take the opportunity granted to us today to introduce our children and grandchildren to our real heroes-the veterans standing with me on this stage and among the crowd.

Let our children shake the hands of our brave veterans, and perhaps they'll feel that courage for just a second-the courage that'll fuel our next generation's heroes.

We have an make it hard to forget America's men and women...and children who have fallen.

We share something with those that we remember...those that stand proudly among us that already have...and will...protect us... we share a love for our great country.

God bless our veterans--our heroes and our heroes of tomorrow.  Thank you.

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