Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
This Memorial Day, we need to take the time to honor the men and women who have had the courage to continue to serve for our country after many earned successes, despite some difficult failures.
We have soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting strongly for us today who deserve to be appreciated and thanked, not only on Memorial Day, but every day. Troops like U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Infante who received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and NATO medal must be remembered for their courage in war time.
From his childhood, Jesse has exemplified bravery. In one instance when several fires started inside his family’s home, Jesse used the shirt off his back to extinguish the flames, even after his family begged him to get out immediately. His father knew then that he was a special, selfless, compassionate man and a true leader.
After graduating from Sam Houston High School in 1999, Infante joined a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. He then served in Korea and was deployed twice to Iraq before being sent to Afghanistan. Intent on a military career, Infante became a petroleum supply specialist with the 4th Brigade Support Battalion and encountered many battle situations.
Jesse Infante was looking forward to his well-deserved leave and return home after 10 years of service to reunite with his fiancèe and witness the birth of his son. Instead, he was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan’s Arghandab River Valley.
Soldiers like Infante spend a significant part of their lives defending our country; the least we can do is acknowledge their service and show our deep gratitude and appreciation.
On this upcoming Memorial Day, May 28, every citizen that is able should attend and participate in a program honoring our service people. People may take a moment of their day at 10 a.m. to go to the band shell by Trig’s and take a short walk to the memorial to Oneida County’s war dead outside of the courthouse.
With as much courage as our soldiers portray, we as citizens can have the courage to invite a few friends to be present at the event as a sign of gratitude to our troops.
We will continue to honor the men and women of our armed services who sacrifice and put their lives on the line for each and every one of us today, tomorrow, and all of the days yet to come.
Alex Pues, Rhinelander