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Veterans Day Has Special Meaning

U. S. Armed Forces Veterans are all around us. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to each and every one of them who have served and are currently serving to protect our freedoms, especially with Veterans Day, November 11th upon us this week.

For me, Veterans Day takes on special meaning. It hits close to home and in the Nebraska outdoor scene.

Me, my wife and family are very proud of my son-in-law, Specialist Tyler Nichols of Omaha, NE, who is presently serving with the U. S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Thanks so much for your service to this country, Tyler! Let’s go hunting when you come back for a visit this winter!

Spec. Tyler Nichols is pictured third from left to right ready for a "jump" with fellow 82nd Paratroopers.
Spec. Tyler Nichols is pictured third from left to right following a “jump” with fellow 82nd Paratroopers and Canadian Paratroopers.
Spec. Tyler Nichols.
Spec. Tyler Nichols.

It was my late grandfather, Private First Class Francis A. Hintz, who taught me how to effectively shoot a (deer) rifle. He fought in World War II with the U.S. Army’s 63rd Infantry Division/253rd Regiment in Europe. Below is an old photo of him in combat courtesy of the U.S. Army. He is fourth from right to left.

grandpaWWII

Each hunting season on our family farm in southeast Nebraska, I take the time to reflect and mentally thank my fourth-great grandfather, James Murphy, a Union Army Veteran of many battles, for the opportunity to pursue game animals and birds on the land he claimed for the family after the Civil War in the late 1860’s.

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Woodlands at the family farm.

Here’s his headstone in the Holy Sepulcher/Forest City Cemetery near Gretna, NE. The star in front of the headstone represents his service to the country and membership in a post of the Grand Army of the Republic.

murphygravestone

I am eternally grateful to have this land available for outdoor recreation and its enabled me and my family to enjoy a variety of rural Nebraska traditions!

My 2014 Nebraska Firearm Deer Hunting Season white-tailed buck harvested on the farm.
My 2014 Nebraska Firearm Deer Hunting Season white-tailed buck harvested on the farm.

Veterans Day honors the duty, sacrifice and service of America’s millions of veterans. We should remember and celebrate those men and women. Thank a veteran! I am deeply grateful for the veterans of military service in our own family!

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About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Ne

About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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