Thursday, November 09, 2023
Honor a Vet: Be the One
A message from Department Commander Timothy Collmer and The American Legion
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving the peace.”
You know who said that? None other than George Washington.
That’s a sentiment that most military veterans bear, whether they knew it was voiced by a founder of our country.
But it’s more than just a sentiment, or a good soundbite. Veterans take an oath to put their lives on the line to protect our country and its freedoms.
That’s why most Americans profess to love our veterans, especially on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
It is important to remember that veterans are defending us 365 days a year. The heroism that has been demonstrated time and again by veterans from the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism is sometimes unnoticed by many who enjoy the security that their sacrifice has provided.
Not all veterans have seen combat, but all have at one time made the solemn promise to sacrifice their lives if called upon.
For many veterans, our nation was important enough to endure long separations from their families, miss the births of their children, freeze in sub-zero temperatures, roast in faraway deserts, lose limbs, and, far too often, lose their lives.
Their families serve and sacrifice as well.
Veterans and their families need advocates, and that is why The American Legion exists. We are here to serve veterans, their families and our communities. Veterans need each other, but, more importantly, our country and our communities need them.
In times of peace and in times of war, our veterans have exemplified the values of honor, courage and commitment. They have displayed unwavering dedication to their fellow servicemembers, their brothers- and sisters-in-arms.
But Veterans Day is not just a day of celebration and remembrance. It is a day of action. It is a day when we must recommit ourselves to the well-being of veterans and their families.
And while the American Legion advocates for healthcare, education and employment opportunities for those who have served and sacrificed, we must keep in mind that more than 6,000 veterans a year take their own lives.
Our action then is clear. We should all commit to “Be the One” to save one. The 9-8-8 crisis line is available to assist anyone who is contemplating suicide.
On this Veterans Day, help your troubled brother-or-sister-in-arms.
Be the One.