LTC Daniel J. Griego: The Service Of America’s Veterans Never Truly Ends

LTC Daniel J. Griego speaks at Friday’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Ashley Pond Park. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Army National Guard LTC Daniel J. Griego, the guest of honor at Friday’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Ashley Pond Park, noted in his speech that no one private or nonprofit organization is responsible for defending the nation.

“That responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of our military and its service members. That’s why the military’s service branches seek to promote values that inspire public service and a sense of duty. The Air Forces values: Integrity first, service before self, excellence in all we do. The Army values: Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage. The Navy and Marine Corps values: Honor, courage, commitment.

Griego said these values provide military service members with an important set of lifelong principles, making it all but certain that veterans will help inspire teamwork, public service, and a passion for the greater good in the communities we live in.

“The service of America’s veterans never truly ends. Even when they hang up their military uniforms for the last time, many continue to be good citizens and continue to fulfill their sense of duty. Many serve their communities as first responders, teachers, health care workers or church leaders. Some are business owners, farmers, company workers or retirees,” he said.

Griego noted that veterans are a diverse group represented by men and women of every economic, ethnic and religious background.

“They come from every state and territory but are bound by one common commitment – to defend America with their life if called upon. Giving one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice, topping a long list of sacrifices made by our servicemen and women. There is another sacrifice made in service of defending our nation, not one regularly mentioned that I would like to bring up today,” he said, adding that November is designated as National Military Family Appreciation Month, where the country honors military families, acknowledging the sacrifices they make while supporting their servicemen and woman.

“Of all the Army values, honor is the one that embodies all the others. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting and living the Army values. We feel honor while listening to our National Anthem or watching the posting of the colors. We show honor by recognizing the outstanding contributions made by other soldiers and civilians. We give honor to the flag and to the ideals it represents and the symbolism it lends to the greatness of our nation. The way honor embodies all the Army values, our community embodies service to the nation,” Griego said. “ This town’s history goes back way before 1943, but World War II and the arrival of the Manhattan Project in the spring of that year turned what had been a calm and quiet collection of mesas and canyons into an industrial laboratory bent on the creation of the first atomic bombs. Nearly 80 years later, this amazing town and the nearly 13,000 Lab employees, of which I would like to highlight the numerous veterans, continue service to defending our nation.”

He said Veterans Day is not just a day to celebrate veterans but to remember why they were fighting and a day for all the community and the Lab “to reaffirm our journey of protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations”.

Griego shared a quote by former U.S. Rep. Steven Buyer of Indiana, which he believes truly captures the essence of Veterans Day.

“For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are grateful that such men and women were among us. For those who continue to serve, we honor their commitment. For those who return to civilian life, we honor their service,” he said.