As proud parents of L. Cpl. Nicholas W. Smith, U.S. Marine Corps, we thank Commander Kirk Thurston and American Legion Post #24 for having an evening for military families.

Waiting and worrying are the families’ main job and to have symbols such as the Blue Star Banner as an outward sign that someone is missing and loved hanging in your window is a comfort. To have that banner given by veterans who understand what our children/spouses/parents/loved ones are doing makes it all the more special.

Commander Thurston gaveĀ  a “challenge coin” to each military member that he personally purchased to remind them that he is appreciative and aware of their service. One of those coins will be mailed to my Marine.

Commander Thurston expressed heartfelt words that mean more than he will know. A wonderful meal was served by the ladies auxiliary, who also have spent time and energy getting packages out to our deployed Marine.

When my Marine received his he told me that, not only was it nice to be appreciated by the people from his hometown, but also that it came from those who know what it’s like to serve or support a family member who served.

To connect for a few minutes with other families who have military members is also very special and appreciated.

We should all take time, when we see someone with military displays on their person or vehicle, to thank them for their service or their loved one’s service.

Eric and Tamera Richard, Rumford