Veterans Day 2012: 4 ways YOU can honor veterans today

Veterans Day 2012:  4 ways YOU can honor veterans today


Veterans Day 2012:  4 ways YOU can honor veterans today

It’s Veterans Day, America.  This is a day that’s very special to me, as I’ve discussed in other posts.  But is it a special day for you, too?  Or is it just another day on the calendar?  For those of you not already involved in veterans’ causes or events to honor veterans in some way, the following are 4 ways YOU can honor veterans today:

1.  Call and/or write your elected officials and urge them to fight to maintain low health care costs for those who have fought for us.  As one who uses the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system, I can assure you that many veterans grapple daily with the choice of maintaining their health by taking prescribed medications or selling their medications on the black market in order to eat.  This is an utterly embarrassing disgrace- and one that’ll only be exacerbated should the current plans to triple VA health care costs be implemented. Your call or email may very well persuade an undecided legislator to support veterans, too.

2. Support those returning from current conflicts. From fiber optics to smart phones and aeronautics to robotics, technology is a great thing. It’s helped us in our daily lives- and it’s helped our sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines return from today’s battlefields alive in numbers our WWI and WWII generations could’ve never imagined. That’s the good news. The bad news is that more heroes than ever return from the battlefields and carry on to live longer lives and endure more physical pain and struggles than most of us could never imagine.

Visit the following link and learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project and how you can give our heroes a hand up, not a handout- and see how veterans overcoming obstacles will inspire you long past today:

3. Hire a veteran. Despite the good feelings and sincere gratitude offered every year on this special day, sentiments quickly fade. Some employers struggle to understand duties veterans performed while serving and how they’d match up with their job openings- and some simply hold anti-veteran sentiments despite appearances to the contrary. Either way, our heroes’ return to civilian life and meaningful employment is far more difficult than it should ever be. These are a few sites where you or others you know with vacancies may go to post available jobs that veterans may fill- or to search for an American hero to fill an existing vacancy:

4. Thank a veteran today- but as I dare say only my fellow veterans can understand, I urge you to thank one of “the other veterans”. You see, there’s a difficult line a veteran straddles. Balancing love for America and pride for having made some small contribution to her, we bear a heart-felt humility that only comes from selfless devotion to the aforementioned cause and a wish that all of “the other veterans” would be honored ahead of ourselves.

So what are my plans for honoring folks this Veterans Day? I’ll start my day with church, where my Aloma (Baptist) Church honors our veterans in both of our morning services. Following that, I’ll continue a tradition I’ve carried on since Veterans Day 1995: by day’s end, I’ll speak with my good friend LTC Jim Blesse (USA, retired), USMA Class of 1961. Jim’s a multiple Purple Heart recipient that’s just made the turn past 70. We’ll update each other on the goings-on since we last spoke- and though I never know where he’s traveled on vacations in the past year, I do know he’ll deflect any credit when I end our talk by thanking him for being one of my heroes- and for his service and sacrifices for all of us. I can also count on my “Go Navy! Beat Army!” being answered with a “Go Army! Beat Navy!”

So what’s this photo I’ve included here all about? Yours truly can be found in the back row (5th from the right and next to the tall guy) and this year I’m starting another tradition by reaching out to some guys from this Navy crypto class of mine- looking to thank them for their service as well.

Veterans Day 2012:  4 ways YOU can honor veterans today


About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
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