My father, uncles and other relatives from his generation fought in World War II. His father fought in World War I. They weren’t drafted but raced in to sign up after Japan struck Pearl Harbor. They did this for the love of country and anger at what the Japanese had done.
My generation fought in Southeast Asia in Viet Nam. Let me be clear. I was not in the military. I never wore the uniform of our nation, but I always respected the sacrifice those brave Americans made for us.
Most of our vets have come home and adjusted to civilian life without much trouble. However, there are those vets who for whatever reason, couldn’t adjust after their service to our country ended. These are the men and women who need us. Some of them experienced things I couldn’t imagine. Some have gotten help from the VA, while others have fallen through the cracks and are homeless. Some are suffering from divorce and broken families.
This is a day when we need to remember these brave men and women who risked their lives to make us safe at home. Many from my fathers generation never talked about their service. However, there are some who enjoy telling stories about their life long friendships. These are the vets who wear the hats or jackets. When you see one of these heroes, stop and ask them about their service. It will make their day to tell you their story, and the look in their eyes as they relive some of those memories will make it worthwhile for you, too.
I am very disappointed in the treatment our vets receive from the Veterans Administration. Every day some new scandal is revealed about how our vets are treated, or more correctly, mistreated. This isn’t just the Obama Administration, but goes back to at least the 70’s. All past and present Administrations are responsible. To be fair to Obama, at least his Administration has made some effort to correct some of the problems.
Today, lets all remember our vets. Each and every one of them is special. It doesn’t matter when they served, or where they were sent, even if they never left our shores, they are all very special to us and our country. Lets celebrate them all, the ones who are still with us, the ones who fell on foreign soil, or the ones who passed peacefully here at home. Our vets never played the political game, they answered the call and made us all so proud of their service.
So, in closing, let me remind all of you to fly your flag today. Do it in memory of our soldiers everywhere. This is their day. Recognize it and celebrate it with all your heart. These men and women are what made America great. They are the symbol of America.