US flag (detail)

Today is the 243rd anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. It’s also the kick-off of the Veterans Day weekend.

We have a long and storied history with the military here in the Panhandle. We’re rich in bases and active duty military, and a disproportionate number of people who train here find their way back to our beautiful beaches and friendly neighborhoods. We’re blessed with a large and vibrant community of veterans.

Veterans Day was born of Armistice Day, the observance of the end of World War I. But it has come to mean more. Veterans Day is an occasion of gratitude towards all of those, living and dead, who have stood in uniform for the good of our nation. The United States boasts the largest and most capable military in human history. That excellence extends from the dedication of those who have chosen to serve — those who have put themselves, through deed or intent, in harm’s way so that their fellow Americans can live in peace.

There are a lot of veterans in the Real Time Fitness family, and we wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your service. This appreciation is often unspoken, but today is a good day to give it voice. Enjoy the fruits of your faithfulness and have a happy Veterans Day.