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Friday, November 9, 2018

Veterans Day reminds us of our national debt

We are deeply concerned about our national debt. No, not the fiscal challenge. We’re talking about a national debt that all of us owe to our military veterans.

One day each year, Nov. 11, is designated as Veterans Day. But these dedicated men and women deserve our respect and appreciation every day of the year. They also deserve to live out their lives in the free country that they defended with their basic needs being met.

For many veterans, our nation was important enough to endure long separations from their families; to miss the births of their children; to freeze in sub-zero temperatures; to bake in wild jungles; to lose limbs; to suffer trauma that still haunts many of them today; and, far too often, to lose their lives.

Military spouses and children have also felt the ripple effect – long separations, address changes, and the anxiety that comes when a loved one is in harm’s way.

While the utopian idea of a society without war is appealing, let us not forget that our warriors have liberated slaves, stopped genocide and toppled terrorists.

It is not in the nature of America's warriors to complain or to ask for help. Warriors endure. Warriors make do with less. Warriors finish the job, no matter how hard, no matter what is asked.

And when they return home, warriors need advocates. Yes, you can show your support simply by saying "Thank you" to the next veteran you meet, but you can also show your support by hiring a veteran in your workplace, visiting a hospitalized veteran, or donating to a veterans’ program.

Companies should understand that it's smart business to hire veterans. They have acquired special skills and have learned all about teamwork and discipline. When members of the Guard and Reserves deploy, it is America's business to ensure that their civilian careers do not suffer.

Poverty is another issue that affects veterans disproportionately. This is hardly the "thanks of a grateful nation."

In 1789 George Washington said, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country."

Our debt to these heroes can never be re-paid, but we must ask ourselves as a nation, are we serving veterans even half as well as they have served us?

Potter County Veterans Service Committee
Bill Simpson
Mike Pepper
Paul Heimel
Danielle Gietler

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

GREAT message! Let us all bear this in mind not just on Veteran's Day but all year long.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a 20 year retired veteran, I'm not one to beg but for consideration of other veterans in need. Other towns have at least 1 restaurant that will cater to a simple free meal on Veterans day to all veterans. I've asked and can find no such thing within 25 miles of Port Allegany / Smethport. I doubt it would be too difficult to share your wealth with one meal a year, with those who fought for your freedom to succeed without worry of an enemy at your door throughout your business life. Besides, you may just win yet another customer for appreciation of your kindness.