FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - Fort Sill held their annual Veterans Day Ceremony a few days early outside McNair Hall Wednesday afternoon.
The two speakers shared their experiences regarding the military. One of the speakers, Bruce Dwyer, is a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran. He also belongs to the local chapter of the Military Order of the purple heart.
Dwyer said he talks with a lot of other veterans, some who suffer from PTSD and are looking for a little advice, and he tries to do what he can to help.
He hopes what he had to say at today's ceremony helps others understand what it means to serve.
"I hope they remember the many sacrifices, toils, hardships, and dangers they have to go through, the separation from friends and family I hope they recognize that and they're never forgotten," Dwyer said.
Lawton High Senior Andrew Dayhoff also spoke at the ceremony. He read his award-winning essay inspired by his father's military service.
"While he was fighting for our country, I was in the safety of my home with my mother where I was free and I had no responsibilities," Dayhoff said.
Dayhoff said it was a real honor to read his award-winning essay. He was the local winner of the "Voice of Democracy" contest. He said he never expected to get this far.
His essay is about his responsibility to America to help people who are suffering emotionally.
"What I really detail in this essay is really what people in high school, people really around should be doing in today's society which is caring for other people and really treating veterans with respect and with what they deserve because they've done so much for this country," Dayhoff said.
One part of Dayhoff's essay said vets can suffer from emotional problems too and some are trapped in a state of sadness with no one appreciating the sacrifices they made.
Dayhoff has lived in several different states besides Oklahoma like New York and different countries like South Korea and England just to name a few. He's also seen his dad get deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
His essay is written with students and other civilians in mind.
"I hope people take it as inspiration for the future and treat people with respect... give veterans the honor that they deserve. That is what I hope," Dayhoff said.
His goal is to give freedom back to those who gave it to him. He ended his essay by thanking veterans saying he can live the life he lives today because of them.
Attendees were left with a challenge at the end of the ceremony to thank a veteran this weekend.