Veterans Day

Congressman Jerry Carl

Veterans Day (formerly known as Armistice Day) is observed every year on November 11 to honor the military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The holiday began as a day to reflect on the heroism of all who died in service of our country, and it falls on November 11 because this is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Armistice Day was later changed to Veterans Day in 1954.
As we approach Veterans Day this year, I hope you will join me in taking a minute to honor our veterans for their patriotism and their sacrifices to keep our nation safe. Without them, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted. South Alabama is home to so many veterans, and I’ve enjoyed meeting many of them and learning their stories. One of my biggest honors was earlier this year when I had the opportunity to present the Purple Heart medal to Corporal Robert Andry, USA (Ret.) on his 97th birthday.
Cpl. Andry was raised in Bucks, Alabama, and was drafted into the U.S. Army after high school graduation. He was part of the 761st Black Tank Battalion, where he and his men modified their M4 Sherman Tanks to travel twice their original speed. This allowed them to outrun German Panzer and Tiger tanks. Their ingenuity earned the respect of General George Patton, who called on them to lead the charge into Berlin. While there, Cpl. Andry’s tank was ambushed and blew up while he was inside. After many long hours battling serious wounds, Cpl. Andry was rescued by medics. The 761st Black Tank Battalion went on to liberate 30 villages and several concentration camps. Cpl. Andry later returned from war to marry his childhood sweetheart.
Throughout the history of our country, America’s service members have put their lives on the line to keep the United States and our allies safe. Veterans like Cpl. Andry and the 761st Black Tank Battalion understand that freedom is not free but is bought with a price. We are forever grateful to them.