The Kingwood Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Heroes Lunch on June 2 in conjunction with Memorial Day to honor all of the local men and women currently serving, or that have served, in the armed forces.

Congressman Ted Poe of District 2 was the featured speaker for the event. Other featured guests included: Dan Huberty, several members of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and select members of the Houston Police Department.

After saying the pledge and having all past and present members of the military stand to be honored, Congressman Poe began his speech.

He started by thanking police officers for fighting at home for the safety of all residents and children. Many of the police officers in attendance also served as members of the armed forces.

We as a country remember those who wear the uniform for our country, Poe said. Memorial Day is meant to honor those who serve and do not return and Veterans Day is meant to honor those who serve and come home.

He pointed out that Americans never go to war to conquer, that we always go to liberate. There are currently more than 160,000 soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Its the warrior, not the preacher that gives us freedom of religion. Its the warrior, not the reporter that gives us freedom of speech. Its the warrior, not the judge that gives us the right to trial. Its the warrior, not the politician that gives us the right to vote. Its the warrior, not the professor that gives us liberty, Poe said.

The congressman fondly shared stories from his time spent overseas in war areas like Afghanistan and Iraq. One such story was about a man named Clint from Odessa, Texas who had served in the army for eight years. He had just begun his senior year in high school when the terrorist attacks on 9/11 occurred. He immediately went to a nearby city and stood in line for three hours at the recruitment center there to join the army. In another account, when Navy member Cody Nelson was asked why he was serving he answered simply, I just love America, dont you?

Poe used his encounters with these men and several others to illustrate the steadfast dedication and love that the heroes honored at the luncheon have for their country.

The congressman concluded his speech with a story he said his grandmother had told him when he was young. He simply compared oysters and eagles. Oysters are small and process all of their food and nutrients from the ground, sea and surrounding areas. They do not have to move or hunt or fight for their livelihood in any way. The eagle, however, is tough. He scours the land, sea and sky for his survival and creates his own shelter. This is why the eagle represents the United States of America, and not the oyster.

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