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Exchange Club if Albany celebrates Veterans Day

Albany Herald - 11/19/2022

Nov. 19—ALBANY — The Exchange Club of Albany honored veterans with a special program presented by Dan Gillan, who retired from the U.S. Marine Crops in 2009 after serving his country for 32 years of active duty.

Gillan currently is president and CEO of the Albany Area YMCA. He also serves as a permanent deacon at St. Teresa's Catholic Church and is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. Gillan also is a Scout Leader, chairman of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee and is a member of the Marine Corps League, Marine Corps Association, Marine Corps Aviation Association, and Military Officers Association of America.

During his speech, Gillan talked about those who have stood, those who are still standing and those who will stand in the future. He talked about the importance of veterans, their service to our country and the freedom they are responsible for.

"Often, there is confusion between Veterans Day and Memorial Day," Gillan said. "(I'm) preaching to the choir, but to be sure Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it's largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

"You know, service is personal to me these days. It was not until a few years ago that I realized just how personal it was. I honestly did not fully appreciate just how personal service was even throughout my 32 years of active-duty service as a U.S. Marine. ... It became more personal in November 2019 when my nephew, Josh, graduated OCS at Quantico, Va. Now my son and nephew are active-duty Marines. It is very personal. I've still got skin in the game."

The Exchange Club has approximately 60 veterans among its members.

Gillan concluded his remarks by telling the Exchange Club: "Thank God for our nation's soldiers. Author Claudia Pemberton poignantly noted that 'America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.'

"Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to those who have stood, and today we recognize them as well as each one of us who continues to stand. Let's remember to live up to their legacy by continuing our service in whatever capacity we are led so that we can engender the confidence of those who will stand in the future. It is about our families, service, sacrifice and freedoms."


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