November 6, 2013: American Heroes

~ by Mary Galvano

This past Saturday I attended the Veterans Appreciation Gala in which I was asked to sing. The Veteran’s Appreciation Gala honors the Filipino American Veterans of Jacksonville; the Florida Fallen Heroes Foundation; and the Vietnam Veterans of America. It was an event to be remembered. Veterans being honored were of the five uniformed services. There were even two WWII Veterans there! These people were extremely down to earth and welcoming and they made me feel like family. They understand the meaning of being united.

After the Filipino American Veterans Society Honor Guard presented colors,  I sang the National Anthem. In a room of proud veterans I especially wanted to do a good job since these men and women took Anthem singing seriously. The gentleman who was the Master of Ceremonies and who also happened to be a former Marine and Purple Heart Recipient told me right before the ceremonies began, Whatever you need to get the Anthem done do it. Marines are about getting the job done. That was sure to put butterflies in my stomach. But, as soon as I saw the Parade of Colors I couldn’t help being caught up in the moment. It was an honor to be singing our National Anthem to this group of honorees.

Many participated during the programs presentation to make the affair extra special. There were vocal renditions of patriotic songs in which I got to sing my personal song America, In God We Trust and then lead everyone in singing God Bless America.

I especially liked the two women who danced two different cultural dances in honor of their heritage called “Abururay” and “Pangalay”. They were absolutely beautiful with their colorful clothing and beautiful dancing..

A tribute was made to our departed comrades with the Ringing of the Bell. At the beginning though the President of the Filipino American Veterans Society, Eugenia “Nena” Reed, USAF gave the opening remarks. Although she said many things that struck me the one thing that struck me the most was how many people actually serve our country. Only 1% of our population in the United States serves our country in uniform and yet, we have the most powerful military in the world. Wow! It is hard to believe that so few give to our country the way these brave men and women do. We need to thank them continuously for their unselfish lives and their courage. We are extremely blessed for their loyal and dedicated service.

On this Veterans Day and throughout the year let us keep all veterans, our military, their families and survivors in our prayers. They are the reason we have such a great country. They need our courage and support always. They need to know their services were not and are not in vain. We need to continue thanking them for their faithful service to our country and our military community. We are the “United” States we need to be “United.”

God bless you all and God bless America!


Mary Galvano-Bajohr is a singer/songwriter, LPGA golf instructor, speaker and author. On the golf course she is a dedicated professional, but go to a Yankee game, a Pro-life event or other venue and you just might see her step up to the microphone and sing the National Anthem or the Ave Maria.

Visit Mary’s website at

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