90 years ago marked the end of WWI hostilities. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the 11th month in 1918. WWI was called the "War to end all Wars". If only that held true.
Over the years, Armistice Day or Veterans Day resolutions have stated: the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations AND a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.
As one of my good friends from Veterans for Peace told me, if you aren't fighting for peace, what are you fighting for?
These crosses represent the 4819 American soldiers who have died serving their country in Iraq & Afghanistan and we will never forget them. But Veteran's Day is intended to thank living veterans for their service & sacrifice to their country. The 23.8 million veterans living in America deserve the recognition.
Regardless of how you feel about this war or any war, veterans stand up to serve their country in the military when others choose a different path of service or none at all. Veterans raise their hands and take an oath to solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This is a promise they make to their fellow citizens. After 7 years of war, 600,000 individuals have served, with approximately 1.7 million tours logged. We cannot and may not fall victim to war fatigue as long as we have young men and women fighting in our name. If we hate the war, we cannot hate the warrior. Veteran's Day reminds us of this.
Supporting the Troops does not mean putting a magnetic yellow ribbon on the back of your vehicle. These veterans have given 100%; we owe them that much in return. Supporting the troops means we provide them with proper equipment & training. It means we take care of them when they return from the battlefront to the home front. PTSD, Suicide, higher rates of marital problems are not okay, we must do better. We must:
Provide thorough, Professional, and Confidential Mental Health Screening
Properly fund the VA
Overhaul the Military and Veterans' Disability System
Cut VA Claims Backlog
Increase the number of Mental Health Professionals
Fight Homelessness among Veterans
One week ago a new day dawned in America. We have a President elect who seems to understand the needs of Veteran's. It is our job to hold him to the promise that we make to Veterans who have served their country.We must insist on it.
My son is never coming home. 4 ½ years later, I still find it difficult to say those words. 1Lt Ken Ballard was a 4th generation Army officer and he knew what it meant to serve. He knew the promise that his 2 great grandfathers, Col Roderick Meredith & Major Richard Fox, his grandfather, Lt Col Russell Meredith, and his aunt Lt Col Cathy Patton made. And he knew the promise that he made to this country. On this Veteran's Day, let us make a promise to never, ever forget and to always remember and care for our Veterans.