A Day to Honor War Veterans

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A Day to Honor War VeteransFor me, Veterans Day is "Be Grateful, America, for What You Have Day– Because Of Our Veterans."
by Donna Teresa

There are more than 25 million American veterans who have served our country and continue to do so. I have had the honor of getting to know some of them through the years.

Each year, I try to find the perfect words to write about a group of people who have grown to mean so much to me.

They have trusted me with their stories, their feelings and experiences, and for that I am truly humbled.

To many, Veterans Day is just another day off of work or school.

I don't consider this a holiday. I see this day as a "Be Grateful, America, for What You Have Day– Because Of Our Veterans."

This day has evolved into something deeper. It has left me with so many questions and my list continues to grow. I've been listening to the news about the potential of a World War III, and it makes me quite sad…

     

For one, we have uniformed men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq who are waiting for the very same people to find a solution to end our involvement there. I wish their efforts would move in that direction before involving our military in another conflict.

Veterans Day is Nov. 11 and celebrations will be held to honor veterans on that day. The holiday will also be celebrated on Nov. 12, a Monday, a national holiday.

For those who think the answer to solve differences is with another war, please consider this idea. Take a visit to your nearest VA hospital or clinic and see with your own eyes the severely wounded, those suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder and other hidden wounds and emotional scars.

Visit the homeless vet who can't relate to society because of mental problems. Stay with the families who are struggling to pay their bills because their wounded loved one cannot work. Assist them when they have to change the bandages and clean the wounds that may not heal. Go with the combat troops while their convoy is being blasted with improvised explosive devices and other weapons. Escort a family to a military funeral, when they have to bury their son or daughter and feel their pain.

There are some promising changes happening in veteran care, but is it enough, will it ever be enough? Some tell me, "Oh you can't save them all and solve all their problems." Well, my response to that is if they were good enough to sign on the dotted line to serve this country, the very least this country can do for them is make an aggressive effort to help them if they need it.

I certainly appreciate those who are trying to make these changes happen for our veterans, because they deserve it.

The History Channel www.veterans.com is sponsoring a "Take a Vet to School Day" event in honor of Veterans Day. You will find many useful resources on this Web site. The spokesman for the project is retired Marine and actor R. Lee Ermey. He is asking that every school from elementary through high school invite a veteran to speak about their service.

You don't have to look far to find a veteran. Teachers, I encourage you to invite them to your class this Veterans Day. These men and women are living history — don't let this opportunity pass. Our veterans are getting older and many are sadly leaving us, and when they pass on, that history leaves with them. Enrich your class with their presence.

To all our veterans, a personal note from me, it may seem as if this is one of the few days a year that you are recognized, but I am grateful for your service to this country every day.

Thank you.


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