Friday, November 11, 2016

Our Greatest National Debt

I am recycling a post from 2011. Let's never forget what these men and women, as well as their families, sacrificed to serve our country.


In this morning’s paper was a well written commentary by Fang. A. Wong titled, “For those who served.” Mr. Wong brought forward the case that even though our national debt was a very serious issue, the biggest national debt is that which America owes to its veterans. He proposes that November 11, Veterans Day, is the “perfect opportunity for us to take a historical audit on just how much this nation owes to her heroes.

The author commented, “Our debt to these heroes can never be repaid, but our gratitude and respect must last forever.” Mr. Wong said that less than 10% of Americans are veterans. “... American warriors do not complain. They endure. Warriors make do with less. Warriors finish the job, no matter how hard, no matter what is asked.”

He asks us to remind our lawmakers that there is a debt we all owe to those who served. The author concludes his article with a statement from George Washington. “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.”

They sacrifice so much

It will be easy for us to just go about our normal routines this Friday, November 11, and not really consider all who have sacrificed so much to defend our country and fight the battles our government believes are worthwhile. Our current armed forces and our veterans are not the only ones who sacrificed something. Their families (mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses and children) also gave up so much. For example, service men and women as well as their spouses and children give up jobs, homes, schools, friends and a certain amount of security to serve. The spouses and children also have to live with the daily uncertainty of ‘if’ and ‘when’ they will be reunited again. Can you imagine what it is like for a child living with that uncertainty every day?

Service men and women come home today to an economy and job market that is scary to say the least. If they were seriously injured, the prospects for a normal life are even more difficult to comprehend. We need to ask ourselves whether we, as a nation, are serving our veterans as well as they have served us. I believe that answer is ‘NO’.

How can we help?

Some of you might not know where to get started. Read the online article, “11 Ways to Help Veterans.” It provides several opportunities to help.

Some ways are as easy as:

Giving a veteran a ride to a V.A. hospital.
Providing foster care for their pet.
Donating old cell phones and DVDs.
Cutting out food coupons (military families can use them for six months past the expiration date).

At the very least, they need to know that we are aware of what why and their loved ones sacrificed. You can do that by just shaking their hand and saying,

“Thank you for your service.”

Let’s start repaying our greatest national debt by honoring those who serve and have served.

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