Focusing on the importance every veteran has on the community and country they live in, Col. Jonathan Frasier brought a message of values and hope to those gathered Thursday morning in Cedartown.
As part of the annual Veterans Day program presented by Brewster-Cleveland American Legion Post 86, the Cedartown native spoke about his 26 years of service in the United States Army, which recently came to a close with his retirement in September.
“And I’ve really thought about the current state of our country. And I continue to go back to the Army values that I subscribed to, that I aspire to live out in my life,” Frasier said.
“Army values start with loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage. When you think about those values, and you look at where we are as a country, it isn’t hard to understand why we have so many challenges.”
A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Frasier was assigned to the Aviation Branch and went on to the United States Naval Test Pilot School. He is a Master Army Aviator and has logged approximately 2,300 flight hours in 29 different aircraft including over 240 Experimental flight hours.
Having served in various command and staff positions during his 26 years of active military service, Frasier’s awards and badges include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, NATO Medal, Master Army Aviator Wings, Air Assault Badge, and the Order of Saint Michael (Bronze Award).
Held in Cedartown’s Veterans Memorial Park, Thursday’s program saw local veterans from every foreign conflict of the last 80 years gather together with community leaders and guests.
Frasier spoke with many of the veterans before and after the program and touched on how their numbers are declining.
“Today we have 19 million veterans in our great country. This represents less than 10% of our total population. When you look at our active forces today, it actually makes up less than 1% of our population. That tells us that the number of veterans in our country will continue to decline over time. Despite this downward trend, veterans continue to serve and make a positive impact on our nation in all areas of our society,” Frasier said.
Frasier noted that his faith as a follower of Jesus Christ helped him see the right path during his time in the army, and how the veterans he grew to know and value were there to offer insight and wisdom.
“These men and so many more invested in and encouraged me throughout the years. And I want to encourage you to continue to invest in the next generation just as many veterans have invested in me,” Frasier told the crowd. “You might not ever know the impact that you have on each of those that you invest in, but over the years many will serve in their commands and will be blessed by the seeds that you plant.”