Anniversary brings out gratitude for troops in one farmer

Sep 2, 2011

Reflections of an eastern Washington farmer harvesting alfalfa with a massive tractor:

"This is about the only piece of farm equipment that has air conditioning. (Laughs) My name is Collette McEntire and I am swathing third cutting export alfalfa hay.

"For me 9/11 was a real wake up call. It's really changed how I look at our armed services. When I got out of college and I was interviewing for jobs, I was competing against a lot of veterans. Vietnam war had been ended. They would do like your interview on a point system, but they would get extra points because they were a veteran. And I just thought, 'How unfair.' You know I just went to college and studied hard and it just didn't click with me.

"I was just naive. You know these people had been through a lot. And they should get special preference. But at that time of my life I was just a young, dumb, punk kid.

"For me just 9/11 was a real eye-opener for me and made me appreciate what we have. We are one of the greatest countries in the world and we have one of the best armed services in the world. It just made me think about how many people have given the ultimate sacrifice so that I can be out here swathing.