scott tipton

By U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

When you turn on the news, the steady stream of reports on the challenges facing our nation and the world can at times seem overwhelming. We hear of groups around the globe like Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram inflicting violence and terror, and of threats from radicals looking to disrupt peace and kill innocent Americans because of where we live and what we stand for as a free people.

Despite these challenges and threats, Americans for the most part are able to live safely and securely here at home. That is because of the willingness of a special few who serve in our nation’s Armed Forces and stand in harm’s way.

Since its founding, America has had to fight for its survival, and in doing so, has advanced the cause of liberty around the world. That’s the great thing about our country; its very existence has, more than any other nation in history, made the world a safer and better place to live. The actions taken by a small group of Americans in service to our nation, including those who fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan, have had an incredible impact on the history of the world and are the reason we are able to live freely in this incredible country and join together on Memorial Day to honor their sacrifices.

One of the brave individuals whose memory we celebrate is Pfc. George Geer from my hometown of Cortez, Colorado. Pfc. Geer was one of a long line of descendants in his family, stretching all the way back to the Revolutionary War, to serve this country. He was a gunner with the 503rd Airborne Infantry, stationed in Ramadi when he was tragically killed in 2005, far from his family and the snowcapped mountains of Southwest Colorado where he loved to hunt and ski, and the fields at Dolores High School where he was a four sport athlete.

Pfc. Geer could have chosen a more common path in life like most of us do, but like his ancestors before him, he put aside his safety and security and answered a special call to defend our nation. Thank God for Pfc. Geer and those like him.

This Memorial Day in Cortez, the community will dedicate an open space area in honor of his memory. This area will pay tribute to the life of this American hero and serve as a reminder of the profound sacrifice Pfc. Geer and all of the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our nation have made. It will be an honor and privilege to take part in the dedication ceremony and share in this special day with Pfc. Geer’s family.

While Memorial Day is a special day to focus on and pay tribute to the fallen, it’s important to keep their memory alive year round and never forget the sacrifices made by these few special Americans including Pfc. George Geer. Every day that we are able to live free and in peace here at home is a testament to their lives.

Thank you to all of our veterans and to the families of those who have lost a loved one in defense of this great nation. God bless all of you and God bless the USA.