We have approached another Veterans Day and remembered those men and women who have served our country and offered their lives in the service of freedom.
Many of us have family members or friends who have served in times of war or international conflicts and we know the kind of contribution they have made as well as the sacrifice they have made along the way. Some of them have died in the battle itself, others have died from complications or the results of war; some are still struggling with the aftermath either physically or emotionally. Either way, they paid a price for our freedom.
However, as much as we pay tribute to our veterans each year, we also know that many of our veterans are still living in the shadows. Depending upon which war or conflict they served has a direct correlation to how they have been cared for after the war or conflict has ended. We all recognize the Vietnam War, or actually conflict, was not always seen as a war we should have fought. However, that doesn’t diminish the service of those who fought.
And yet, reports abound about how many of them are homeless, suffering from the effects of the war, and some are basically forgotten. Each year I am contacted by a private organization asking for money to assist our veterans. Each year I ask myself and them why our veterans have to depend on private donations to care for them; this should be in our national budget to care for those who “served” and who now need our assistance to care for them.
If we want to give thanks to our veterans, and rightfully so, we should; then we must also respond to their basic needs after their “official” service to the country has ended. They don’t deserve to be discarded simply because they can no longer be of service to the country. How we treat and respond to the needs of our veterans really needs to be evaluated by our Congress so that no one, who has served in our military, should have to depend on private donations for their basic needs.