I hope you enjoyed your holiday, along with a spectacular fireworks display. One of our favorite holidays, my wife and I attended a local display not far from our home to enjoy the celebration of this great nation’s birthday and freedoms. How lucky and blessed are we?

Recently, I heard a sobering statistic that America’s World War II Veterans are leaving us at the rate of 430 per day. This ‘greatest generation’ and their sacrifices helped ensure we’re still afforded our Independence Day.

Through our partnerships and support of such first-class organizations as the St. Louis Blues and the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF), we’re able to assist in the mission to honor St. Louis area veterans’ service in World War II and other wars, by providing an all-inclusive trip to Washington, DC to visit the memorials built in their honor. 

It’s through this organization that we’ve had the honor of meeting such incredible heroes as WWII Veteran John Wren, a Second Lt. in the U.S. Airforce (1942-45). A member of the 461st Bombardment Group, Second Lt. Wren flew 13 missions and was shot down, captured and taken as a POW. Isolated and interrogated daily, on April 19, 1945, General Patton’s 3rd Army liberated his camp. This is one of so many incredible stories. We truly thank you for your service, John.

Family Barbeque

I’m so honored to work for an organization that proudly supports programs, organizations, employment, and services that assists such valued members of our community, our veterans. Whether it’s through our commitment to hiring veterans or our partnership with St. Patrick’s Center programs aimed at assisting homeless veterans in their pursuit of self-reliance, First Bank salutes you.

Regardless of when you’ve served–I’d like to personally encourage more veterans to take their much-deserved Honor Flight. It’s thanks to you that we’re given the opportunity to enjoy our freedoms as well as the pursuit of the American Dream – whatever that means to you.

From providing communities and businesses the financial solutions they need for growth and prosperity to the credit facilities needed to purchase, build, or expand upon the home of your dreams, First Bank has proudly been a part of it all. We want to continue helping in the pursuit of what so many brave men and women fought to protect. After all, the path to the American Dream starts with you. Let’s achieve it.