On Veterans Day

Among the family, friends, students, colleagues, and others in my life who have served our country are both of my grandfathers: Daniel Warner (left, in a portrait in his Army uniform) and the late Clarkson S. Fisher (right, pictured in the U.S. Signal Corps. in New Guinea circa 1943). I’m thinking of them both today, trying to comprehend just how they and their fellows did what they did at such a young age with so much at stake. It’s stunning to consider really — the enormity of the situation, the horror of the violence, and the courage they showed in the face of it all. Even for a peacenik like me, it’s pretty impossible not to be moved by all that our servicemen and women have taken on for others.

I think those feelings of awe and gratitude are feelings that most everyone can relate to in one way or another. I suppose that’s what I just can’t seem to understand some of these facts:

How is this the reality for our veterans? Especially when we hold our troops in such high regard? It’s unacceptable. We have to do better by them. Until we do, any “celebration” of our servicemen and women will only be lip service, and Veterans Day will be a meaningless exercise.

If you want to get involved, here are some places you can start…

www.thesoldiersproject.org 

www.yellowribbonfund.com

www.preventsuicide.army.mil

www.veteranscrisisline.net

www.nchv.org

www.va.gov/homeless

www.samhsa.gov/militaryfamilies

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