Heroes Among Us: Honoring the Veterans of the Nexstar Nation

“Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.” – Ronald Reagan 

Across our great country today, we pause to honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed for the United States of America.  In a company like Nexstar Media Group, there are dozens of veterans walking the halls of our television stations. They produce newscasts, report on stories, build relationships with advertisers and ensure the signal stays up and running.

On the surface, they probably look like anyone else in the office.  However, these men and women stand out.  They’ve displayed a level courage and bravery some of us will never know.  They’re heroes among us.

They’re people like Tony Wright who works at WSPA in South Carolina.  After September 11, he was compelled to join the army.  Five years later, he did just that.  Tony served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Army Engineer.  And you know what?  He’d do it all over again.

“I would never change my oath and still live by those actions I stood upon September 9, 2006,“ Tony said in reflecting on his service.

michelle

Before she was an account executive in Rock Island, Illinois, Michelle Peterson spent more than two decades in the Illinois Army National Guard.  She served in the 169th Airlift Squadron of the 182nd Airlift Fighter Wing in Peoria.  Their mission supported the safety of our airmen and aircraft, which included A37s, F16s, and C130s.  She retired in 2002 as a Tech Sergeant in flight management.

On this day, we remind ourselves we’re able to do what we do because of the sacrifices of Michelle, Tony and our heroic veterans.

Throughout Veterans Day 2020, I’ll be tweeting out the names and pictures of veterans from across our company. You can follow along here.

When I was a news director in Little Rock, I made it an annual tradition to donate to a veteran’s group on Veterans Day in honor of our resident vet Chief Meteorologist Keith Monahan.  It’s a tradition I’d like to continue.

This week, I made a donation to Team Rubicon. The group leverages veterans to respond to disasters and humanitarian crises. Right now, they have multiple teams along the Gulf Coast assisting with clean-up efforts from hurricanes as well as a crew in California responding to wildfire recovery.

More on the group from its website:

By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.

I saw the group in action when they responded to a deadly tornado in Arkansas. They’re the real deal. If you’d like to join me by supporting their mission, you can do so here.

To our veterans: we can’t ever thank you enough. Thank you for being who you are — and thank you to the family members who have sacrificed alongside you.

We’re forever in debt.

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