Today is Veterans Day, a day to remember and to honor the 22 million who have served and defended it, and the millions of others who are no longer with us.

The recent protests displayed during our national anthem at sporting events has drawn heavy criticism because many feel it is disrespectful to our veterans and military personal.

Many of us don't remember the great wars of the 20th century, but we have heard the stories, and may have spoken to someone who fought during those times.

My grandfather fought in World War 2, his name was Alfred Smith and he was stationed in France for much of the war, I remember my mother talking about not really knowing him until he came home in 1945.

I lost a step-brother in Vietnam in 1967, I was really young but I do remember meeting him a few times when he was home on leave, his name was Earl Leon Crissell Jr and we called him 'Pork'

I also served in the United States Navy, I am one of the over 5 million veterans who served during peace time, looking back on my time I consider it a privilege to have served my country.

Through our history, this country has been tested, we have fought super powers in both world wars, almost came to nuclear war with the Russians in the early 1960's, we watched in horror as terrorists attacked us on our homeland in 2001, and we see the new generation proudly serve and continue to protect us in the middle east.

Through all of the wars and rumors of wars to come, we owe so much to those who stood up and fought to defend our freedom.

Think of where we would be if we lost our freedom, and thank a veteran today for keeping the lives and dreams of America alive and well.