A dedication to service that lasts a lifetime

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category icon Editorials, Opinion

This morning, red, white and blue American flags in honor of Veterans Day, as well as black flags recognizing prisoners of war and those missing in action, lined Northeast Fourth Avenue in downtown Camas.

Each year on this and other select holidays, the men and women who are members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Schick-Ogle Post 4278 place these reminders of those who have served and those who have been lost in their dedication to the United States of America.

One of the members of Post 4278 is featured on Page A1 of today’s Post-Record. The article tells the story of Gary Dowler, a Vietnam veteran who served in three branches of the military — Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves. Now 74 years old, Dowler recalls his personal stories of heroism and bravery, and those of the other men who were right there beside him, like it was yesterday. The good memories — and certainly the bad ones — are still fresh in his mind decades later. His pride in his service and his country is evident with every word.

Dowler is not unlike many veterans who are living in the Camas-Washougal community today. They hold with them the memories and scars that often come with active duty. But, like Dowler, many of these same men and women are also giving back to their communities.

They served during tumultuous times of conflict and war, and they continue to serve today in other ways — positively impacting the lives of young and old alike — but with the same passion and dedication.