While we can never do enough to give back to our veterans and military families, let’s seize this Veterans Day to remember to honor our defenders and try to do a little bit more to assist them in the coming years.
Of the thousands of veterans I’ve met over the years, I cannot recall any who have sought recognition for their service. More often than not, they instead tell me they were “just doing their job.” Yet their profession, the defense of our nation, is critically important to all of us. It is difficult, dangerous work that takes its toll not only on our service members themselves but their loved ones at home, as well.
Veterans Day is an annual reminder that the freedom we experience and the safety and security we enjoy that allows us to live the lives we lead is earned by the sacrifices of a courageous few. As citizens, it’s our duty to ensure our veterans know the gratitude of our nation—not just on this holiday but every day. We cannot forget those who have fought in past conflicts or that we still have thousands deployed in harm’s way around the globe.
During the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have seen remarkable advances in field medicine and care. While this may have reduced the number of fatalities, many more have returned home injured or seriously wounded. As we have now been at war for the past 13 years, roughly 50,000 military personnel currently live among us bearing the severe wounds of war, both physically and mentally. For our defenders, the transition to civilian life is challenging. For our wounded, it can be a constant battle. Their struggles can affect the entire household, and ongoing treatment can quickly become ruinously expensive.