Making Veterans Day special

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Few Americans serve or have served in the nation’s armed forces or have family members in the military service. So, special commemorations, such as Veterans Day, become all the more important for citizens to take the time and reflect and renew the promise to those who served and are still serving the cause of peace, justice and liberty in many volatile hot spots around the world.

The number of military veterans totals about 22 million. Combining that number of veterans to active duty military personnel (about 1.4 million), means only 7.3% of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives.

Many citizens may not know that most U.S. military recruits — almost two-thirds — come from areas in which household income is lower than the national median.

How many of us have recognized that, from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, immigrants have made significant contributions to the U.S. by serving in our military forces?

Today, immigrants voluntarily serve in all branches, are a vital resource in the ongoing conflict against Al Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates, have helped the Pentagon meet recruiting goals, and more than 700 are members of the hallowed Medal of Honor fraternity.

Female veterans are not to be dismissed as simply the daughter or wife of men who are the “actual” veteran. Female veterans in 2015 totaled 1.6 million.

The nation’s promise to returning soldiers includes that they need not bear their sacrifice and wounds alone, that they won’t be forgotten and their families will not have to face the future with uncertainty. The nation has promised that we will remember to embrace and care for survivors of those who do not return.

As the current administration divides and tears this nation asunder, please remember that Veterans Day comes only a short time away from Thanksgiving Day, both holidays a time to count our blessings and give thanks.

Ignore the fool on the hill and let’s all do it together.

(Paul Struck)