Sgt. Anthony Crosby-Carlsen has been in the U.S. Marines since graduation of 2004 from Kanab High School. What he has seen and been through is a far cry from the “good ole days,” of playing football and getting stuck in the creek. Unless you are involved with a soldier, we as American citizens have no idea what our men and women in the service go through.

In April of 2013, Anthony was awarded the Purple Heart. It was much deserved after his eight years in the Marines. He served three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He has hearing loss and injuries to his shoulders. He feels very fortunate that is all he suffered, when so many more suffered great losses. We take a lot for granted in our warm safe homes here in Kanab.

Sgt. Crosby-Carlsen lost two of his best friends, having to pull one from the front lines who died in his arms. These soldiers and the ones in the past that saw their friends get injured and killed will never forget these times.

Talk to a Vet or a soldier and see how they feel about their military experiences, their country. We are blessed that we have them serve our country for us.

Our soldiers are deprived of the basic necessities of life, things we take for granted. They sleep on cots with bugs, they eat MREs for months on end, showers every other week, never feeling safe with their eyes closed, walk for miles in full military gear carrying a 75 pound pack in temperatures well over 100 degrees.

One would ask why they do this. They do it because of love for our country, and they want to serve. I guess these things just upset his mother and grandmother, because all his life he wanted to be a Marine. He says now he would do it all over again.

During the time Sgt. Crosby-Carlsen served our country, he married and had three beautiful children. He has completed his time serving our country, and is now on his way to Texas to start a new life for him and his family.

Sgt. Crosby-Carlsen is the son of Thomas and Tami Carlsen of West Jordan, Utah, and a grandson of Doug and Loretta Crosby, of Kanab, Utah.

May is National Military Appreciation Month. Please, when the flag is being presented, take your hats off and stand and think about our men and women in the military who have given so much. When the flag is coming down the street in our parades, please stand and honor our past and present soldiers. Please teach your children the respect to our soldiers and the flag they deserve.

Many people lost their lives so we could be free in America. I thank all of you who have served in the military; you made our country what it is.

God Bless America!