Governor Nixon Honors Veterans in Missouri

Published 03/26 2014 06:04PM

Updated 03/27 2014 02:05PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Governor Jay Nixon set aside a new day to honor veterans in the Show-Me state.

He designated March 26 as a time to pay tribute to soldiers who fought, served, and sacrificed during the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some say they're glad Missouri will have a special day set aside to recognize them.

"I think it's great, they went over there and made the biggest sacrifices for us so we could surely give them a day," said Kevin Hack, a St. Joseph resident.

This day means a lot for military members like Staff Sergeant Jonathan Hanna.

"It still feels great that there are people towards the top that are still thinking about us and they want to dedicate a day to us," said Hanna.

Hanna was deployed to Iraq for 16 months. He says knowing that people back home in the show-me state care enough to dedicate a day is truly special.

"I really really love the idea that I can not only serve my community my state and my country rather than just being able to serve my country," he said.

He describes intense moments during the war that he says made him appreciate life in a free country.

"Seeing people that don't have a bathroom to use or people that don't even have toilet paper to use or the food that they eat or just the living conditions that they live in," added Hanna.

The war in Iraq started in 2003 and ended in 2011. Hanna says he's grateful he was able to come home safely with his fellow soldiers.

"It feels great that we were all able to go over there together and we all got to come back together. We didn't have any fatalities or anything like that when we were there it was definitely nice," said Hanna.

In January 2010, Nixon also launched the Show-Me Heroes initiative, which works with Missouri employers to give first consideration to military veterans when job openings occur.

In the past four years, more than 3,500 Missouri employers have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge, and more than 6,300 veterans have been hired by those businesses since those employers joined the program.

To learn more about the program, click here.

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