This Veterans Day
Patrick Nelson, November 12, 2018
-President Calvin Coolidge
As our nation paused yesterday to remember the service of our military Veterans, I was reminded of the brave soldiers who I had the honor of serving with. The diversity of this group was incredible. My unit’s medic was from Pakistan, who was motivated by the attacks of 9/11 to enlist. Another soldier had graduated with honors from an Ivy League school and wanted to serve his country before getting a “normal job.” One soldier I knew sold his business to join the Army, while another barely graduated from high school.
Many of us have now transitioned out of the Army. Some went back to school, while others went and found jobs. Many are still struggling. They are experiencing difficulty finding employment, battling substance abuse, and facing mental health challenges, all at rates exponentially higher than those who have not served.
As a nation, we are aware of the challenges our Veterans face as they transition out of the military; however, these issues are perpetual and impact veterans regardless if they served during a time of war or after the guns have fallen silent. Our nation has called upon us to care for those who so bravely raised their right hand to protect and defend this country.
I am calling on everyone one of us, especially my fellow Veterans, to step up and start taking care of those who need it, but might not be asking for support:
- Give a Veteran a ride to a medical appointment (The Disabled American Veterans organization relies on volunteers for this)
- Volunteer at a VA hospital (Many options available)
- Donate frequent flyer miles (The Fisher House builds comfort homes for families of veterans to stay while receiving care)
- Help Veterans share their stories of service and sacrifice (Veterans History Project)
- Say thank you
Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. Today, let’s do our part to ensure that our Veterans are appreciated far beyond a 24 hour period.