Each Veterans Day, the nation pauses to honor those who have served our country in uniform.
The parades and speeches on a holiday - founded as Armistice Day, to mark the end of the first World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 - are more poignant during years like this, with Americans at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But while the average American's thoughts turn to the military today, there is a special cadre of volunteers who live each day to support our troops.
In Columbia, the dedication of these volunteers has earned the attention of the Pentagon. Their community support has helped cement Fort Jackson and Shaw and McEntire air bases as vital to the U.S. military.
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But that recognition is not the reason these volunteers do what they do.
They work tirelessly because they love their county and the men and women, young and old, who risked their lives to defend it.
This Veterans Day, The State is highlighting a few of these selfless volunteer heroes and the organizations they represent.
- Jeff Wilkinson, staff writer
See this special section as it appeared in print: Click here.