Gary Amundson was drafted into the Army. It was not his intention to join on his own, but with the draft in effect, he did not have the luxury of making that decision. However, he did choose to join the combat unit, taking the oath to be a soldier in the United States Military during the Viet Nam war, 1969-1971.
Amundson’s father and 11 of his 16 uncles chose to enlist in the US Armed Forces immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His Dad and some of his uncles joined the Navy. The others became members of the Army. Amundson admits, “I have always been proud that they served and was always thankful that they all returned after the war.”
His feelings about war mirror that of many Americans. He believes war is a horrible thing and hates that so many of our amazing Service men & women have to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country to protect the rights and freedoms of this great nation. No matter where he is—the grocery store, the airport, community events—he stops someone in uniform to thank them personally for their service to our Country.
Amundson explains, “We take for granted the life we have here because we don’t have foreign troops coming through our backyards with weapons drawn and ready to fire on the first thing that moves.” In as much as he and so many others wish wars never took place, it is a reality that they do because there are people and groups that terrorize and victimize innocent people every day. It takes the strong, brave men and women, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, to fight these battles on behalf of the American people. Unfortunately, many never return to their families, while others return injured–their lives never to be the same again.
Amundson proudly states, “I am proud to have served my country when I was called. We do need, as a nation, to stand behind our military and give them the equipment they need to do the job, and the respect for the job they have to do. God Bless America, and God Bless Our Military.”
Amundson owns Massage Therapy Center of Florida with his wife, Karen. He truly believes in standing up for everyone in uniform, as he was fortunate like his father and uncles, to return home. He was able to open his own business and continue to live his life with freedom and choices. Many of his buddies were not so lucky. As a community and a nation, we thank Gary Amundson for his service to our country. We thank each and every member of the United States Armed Forces, both past and present, for their sacrifices to keep us free!