And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” Lee Greenwood
How Do You Thank a Veteran?
Monday is Veteran’s Day, so all weekend we will hear about thanking our veterans. And while we all benefit from the freedoms and rights found in America, only a few have put their lives on the line to defend it. Because of their service, these men and women experience all kinds of hardships ranging from being separated from their families for long periods of time to serious injury and death.
So how do you thank a veteran for all the sacrifices and hardship they’ve experienced?
A Broken Promise
Our country made a promise to these young men and women who went to war on our behalf, and our country let them down. In 2007, the Government Accountability Office found that “46% of the Army’s returning service members who were eligible to be assigned to a medical unit had not been assigned due in part to staffing shortages.”
Veterans have been forced out of the army with personality discharges and dishonorable discharges caused by their PTSD related symptoms which makes them ineligible for benefits.
Veterans have been under-diagnosed for PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, denied legitimate claims by the VA, and forced to wait sometimes more than a year to hear from the VA about their claims. Not surprisingly, our veterans suffer disproportionately high rates of suicide, unemployment, homelessness, and mental illness.
Every day, 28 veterans will take their own life.
Restoring the Promise
What we need is “a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime” said Adlai Stevenson II.
What we need is to dedicate our efforts to supporting those who fought for our freedom. What we need is to keep our promise that if they protect us, we will take care of them. What we need is to hold our government accountable for providing the funds and services necessary to give them the care they earned.
This Veteran’s Day, thank a veteran in a way that will make a difference. Donate to a charity helping veterans, and call your Congressperson and let them know that veterans are a top priority.
P.S. Our Veterans Virtual Giving Circle can help you make small donations that make a big impact for veterans.