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Stan the Man was a member of the Greatest Generation who put his career on hold to serve in World War II - and went on to become the greatest hitter in baseball history.

Stan was called baseball’s “perfect warrior” - because while he swung a loud bat, he also carried himself with a quiet dignity - always a gentleman.

He was known to say, “Every day you put this jersey on, it’s a privilege.”

The same can be said for all of us in this room.

Every day when you put that pin on your lapel, and enter these doors to do the people’s business, it’s a privilege.

And with that privilege comes responsibility.

The people of Missouri count on us to look out for their families as if they were our families.

To focus on what matters: Better jobs. Better schools. Better opportunities for their children.

And it’s easy to get caught up in the political back and forth of the day. Or the controversy of the hour. Or the latest tweet.

But we must be bigger than that, because the work we do here is very, very real.

It’s real to the parents in Bolivar who didn’t go to college but save money every week so someday their children can.

It’s real to the farmer in Trenton who nearly lost his crop during the drought of 2012, but has come charging back.

It’s real to the child with autism in O’Fallon who’s getting the ABA treatment he needs to learn and thrive.

And you better believe it’s real to the family in Joplin who lost everything and could have moved away and started anew - but they chose to stay right there to rebuild the town they love.

And their state government has been with them every step of the way -because that’s what we do. That’s why we serve.

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