Opinion: Commentary: Honoring Our Veterans

Opinion: Commentary: Honoring Our Veterans

Henry Dorton, Commander, American Legion Post 24

Seven decades ago, in 1950, brave Americans defended a far-off land that was under attack. For three years they fought what many still call, “the Forgotten war.” On this Veterans Day, we honor not just those brave Korean War veterans, but ALL who have served in the U.S. military since our country’s founding.

Regardless of how one feels about policies that lead to war, let there be no doubt that veterans serve with honor. They serve to make life better for others. They preserve our freedom.

Not all veterans have seen war, but a common bond that they share is an oath in which they expressed their willingness to die defending this nation. We can be secure at home because we have brave warriors protecting us in the air, at sea, on land and beyond our atmosphere.

In addition to foreign adversaries, many veterans have had to battle invisible threats to their mental health and well-being. More than 20 veterans a day take their own lives. Only those who experienced firsthand the horrors of combat can understand why so many of these young men and women feel compelled to take such drastic and permanent measures. We must do everything possible to stop these needless deaths. The American Legion has instituted a Buddy Check program, in which we encourage our members to regularly communicate with our fellow veterans to ask if they need help and to offer their hands in friendship.

However, it is up to all of us to ensure that every veteran feels that his or her service to this country is appreciated by their fellow Americans. Tell veterans directly that you appreciate them and are grateful for their service. Simply say, “Thank you for what you have done for our country.”

War is never anything to celebrate, but peace is. The peace in between horrific wars is brought to you mainly by our veterans. The sacrifice brought forth during those wars is also made mostly by our veterans. The American Legion is dedicated to remembering the legacy of all veterans because what these men and women have done for us, matters to America.

God Bless America and God Bless our veterans.