Let’s Say Thank You

This month, the nation celebrates Veterans, a time set aside to honor American veterans throughout history for their service and sacrifice. Only a fraction of Americans choose to serve, but their sacrifice is anything but small. Our service members put themselves in harm’s way, some paying the ultimate sacrifice; so we can go to bed each night in a free nation, and they’ve been doing so since the birth of our nation.

Whether a veteran has just returned home, or served years ago, their experiences remain with them. Their wounds might not be visible, but they need our attention. We can support veterans who are dealing with challenges of all kinds.

VA counts on grassroots networks and community organizations to spread the word that support is just a call, click, or text away. It’s up to all of us to get educated, get involved, and take action to help veterans access the support and care they deserve, because one small act can make the difference.

As service members transition out of the military and into other endeavors, they need our support just as much as those who currently serve.

Caregivers continue to serve as dedicated advocates for their service members throughout their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Wives will care for their husbands, husbands care for wives.  Grandparents are taking in grandchildren to help fill the void of the service member away.  Are you a family member of a service member or know someone who is a service member? Have you thought about becoming a caregiver for them, or anyone?

Caregivers, who often times are a direct family member, can make a big impact on the individual they serve by giving their compassion, encouragement, patience, understanding and also advocating for them in the areas of need.  Midnight Sun Home Care not only serves seniors, new mothers and aging Alaskans, but Veterans as well, engaging them in areas to bring them quality of life every day. For more information on assisting Vets to obtain benefits to receive a caregiver, please visit:  http://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care

In a recent speech, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that many service members and their families have endured five yearlong or up to 25 shorter deployments since 2003. “From the everyday sacrifices of missed birthdays, soccer games and special moments each family cherishes, to the physical and psychological repercussions attached to the post-combat experience, these are lives forever changed,” Mullen said.

Take time to thank veterans and their families for their service, whether they served decades ago in World War II or last year in Iraq. Extend your support to them at all times of the year. Together, we can let our veterans know they are appreciated, and that their service and sacrifice never will be forgotten.