Rhea Fernholz is one of thousands of Connecticut Veterans who have served our country. She joined the U.S. Army in 1995 after high school as a clarinet player. She tells me "music was pretty much my only interest in high school and I didn't have any plans after school." She goes on to say, "once I learned the Army Band was an option, I never looked back." Rhea later changed jobs to Personnel Services, did four years active duty and now works as a civilian in Human Resources. But Rhea isn't the only Veteran in her family. She met her husband Chris while they were both stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. "We have been through a lot of deployments, two in the last three years... it's extremely stressful on both sides" Rhea says. "The member stresses about the family, while the family is stressed about the member." The two are now parents to John who's six and Evie who's three. Rhea's explanation for what could happen at home on a bad day versus what could happen while being deployed really puts things into perspective. "I have always ensured Chris' only responsibility was to come home safely" she tells me. She goes on to say "I can handle anything that comes up while he's gone... the last thing I want him worried about in a combat zone is a flat tire on the family vehicle or the hot water heater going out, I got this." Rhea lives with her family in Vernon and tells me "our email, facebook and phones have been pinging all day with 'thank you for your service' messages" on this Veterans Day. She goes on to say "this is great, but the nation needs to remember and thank our older Veterans as well, they often did not have the appreciation when returning from service." She also adds "families sacrifice a lot... so they should be included in any community activity as much as possible, especially when the member is deployed." It's that kind of support that she and her husband Chris experience with friends they've made while serving "we just had a reunion of sorts after 16 years and it was like we never missed a day." Thanks to all of our Veterans for their service and sacrifices, thank you for the time spent away from your families to protect ours, I sincerely appreciate it.