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Subject: VVA: Veterans Day 08
US  CENSUS  BUREAU NEWS
FACTS  for Features
CB08-FF.19 Oct. 16, 2008
Veterans Day 2008: Nov. 11
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day has evolved into also honoring living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
23.6 million
The number of military veterans in the United States in 2007. Source: Table 502, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Female Veterans
1.8 million
The number of female veterans in 2007. Source: Table 502, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
16%
Percentage of Gulf War veterans in 2007 who were women. Source: Table 503, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Race and Hispanic Origin
2.4 million
The number of black veterans in 2007. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans were Hispanic; 278,000 were Asian; 165,000 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,000 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 18.7 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.) Source: 2007 American Community Survey -2-
When They Served
9.3 million
The number of veterans 65 and older in 2007. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35. Source: Table 503, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
7.9 million
Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2007. Thirty-three percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 5 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.9 million in World War II (1941-1945); 3 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 6.1 million in peacetime. Source: Table 503, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
358,000
In 2007, number of living veterans who served during both the Vietnam and Gulf War eras.
Other living veterans in 2007 who served during two or more wars:
*       315,000 served during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
*       69,000 served during three periods: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
● 263,000 served during World War II and the Korean War. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
Where They Live 5
Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2007. These states are California
(2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1.1 million) and Pennsylvania (1.1 million). Source: Table 502, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Education 25%
Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2007. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
90%
Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2007. Source: 2007 American Community Survey -3-
Income and Poverty
$36,053
Annual median income of veterans, in 2007 inflation-adjusted dollars. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
5.7%
Percentage of veterans living in poverty, as of 2007. The corresponding rate for nonveterans was 12 percent. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
On the Job
10.7 million
Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2007. Source: 2007 American Community Survey
$32,217
Earnings for women veterans, higher than the $27,272 for women civilians with no military experience. Source: Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earning Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey <
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/women/012062.html>
$42,128
Earnings for male veterans, higher than the $39,880 for nonveterans. Source: Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earning Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey <
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/women/012062.html>
Women veterans were more likely to work 35 or more hours per week (84.3 percent vs.
77.6 percent), to work at least 50 weeks per year (73.1 percent vs. 71.6 percent) and to work in public administration (16 percent vs. 4.8 percent) than nonveterans. Source: Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earning Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey
<
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/women/012062.html> -4-
Disabilities
6 million
Number of veterans with a disability.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey
Voting
17.4 million
Number of veterans who voted in the 2004 presidential election. Seventy-four percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonveterans. Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004 <
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/006562.html>
14 million
Number of veterans who voted in the 2006 congressional election. Sixty-one percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 46 percent of nonveterans. Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2006 <
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/012234.html>
Business Owners 14.5%
Percentage of owners of firms responding to the 2002 Survey of Business Owners who were veterans. Veteran business owners comprised an estimated 3 million of the 20.5 million owners represented by survey respondents. Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002
<
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/010337.html>
68%
Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 and older. This compares with 31 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2002, 55 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established, purchased or acquired before 1990, compared with 36 percent of all employer respondent firms. Source: Characteristics Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002 <
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/010337.html> -5-
7%
Percentage of veteran business owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002
<
http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/010337.html>
Benefits
2.7 million
Number of veterans who received compensation for service-connected disabilities as of 2006. Their compensation totaled $28.2 billion. Source: Tables 505 and 506, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
$72.8 billion
Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2006. Of this total, $34.6 billion went to compensation and pensions, $33.7 billion for medical programs and the remainder to other programs, such as vocational rehabilitation and education. Source: Table 505, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February) Labor Day Super Bowl Grandparents Day Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15) Women’s History Month (March) Unmarried and Single Americans Week Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/ Halloween (Oct. 31) St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May) (November) Older Americans Month (May) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) Cinco de Mayo (May 5) Thanksgiving Day Mother’s Day The Holiday Season (December) Hurricane Season Begins (June 1) Father’s Day The Fourth of July (July 4) Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26) Back to School (August)
Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <pio@census.gov>.

 
 November 10, 2006
 
Some interesting Census Bureau facts related to Veterans' Day 
 
To: National Desk

Contact: Census Bureau, 301-763-3030

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following are "Facts for Features" from the U.S. Census Bureau on Veterans Day 2006:

Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day has evolved into also honoring living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

24.5 million -- The number of military veterans in the United States in 2004. See Table 509, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

Female Vets

1.7 million -- The number of female veterans in 2004. See Table 509, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

16 percent -- Percentage of Persian Gulf War veterans in 2004 who were women. See Table 510, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs

Race and Hispanic Origin

2.4 million -- The number of black veterans in 2005. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans are Hispanic, 293,000 are Asian, 170,000 are American Indian or Alaska Native, and 28,000 are Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders cover only those reporting a single race.) (From AmericanFactFinder.)

When They Served

9.5 million -- The number of veterans age 65 or older in 2004. See Table 510, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

8.1 million -- Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2004. Thirty- three percent of all veterans served in Vietnam. See Table 510, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/>

3.9 million -- Number of World War II veterans in 2004. Sixteen percent of all veterans served during World War II. See Table 510, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

412,000 -- In 2005, number of living veterans who served during both the Vietnam era and in the Gulf War.

Other living veterans in 2005 who served in two or more wars:

1. 343,000 served during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

2. 80,000 served during three periods: World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.

3. 306,000 served in World War II and the Korean War. (Source: AmericanFactFinder.)

Where They Live

6 -- Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2004. These states are California (2.3 million), Florida (1.8 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1.2 million), Pennsylvania (1.1 million) and Ohio (1.1 million). See Table 509, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

Education

1.1 million -- Number of veterans enrolled in college, as of the 2001-2002 school year. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/education/007383.html

25 percent -- Percent of veterans 25 years and over with at least a bachelor's degree in 2005. (Source: AmericanFactFinder.)

89 percent -- Percent of veterans 25 years and over with a high school diploma or more in 2005. (Source: AmericanFactFinder.)

Income and Poverty

$33,973 -- Annual median income of veterans, in 2005 inflation-adjusted dollars. (Source: AmericanFactFinder.)

5.8 percent -- Poverty rate for veterans, as of 2005. (Source: AmericanFactFinder.)

On the Job

11.3 million -- Number of veterans ages 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2005. (Source: AmericanFactFinder.)

Voting

17.4 million -- Number of veterans who voted in the 2004 presidential election. Seventy-four percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonvets. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/006562.html

Business Owners

14 percent -- Percentage of business owners who were veterans, as of 2002. Seventy-three percent of these veteran owners operated with no paid employees. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/007537.html

7 percent -- Percentage of veteran business owners who were disabled as a result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/business_ownership/007537.html

Benefits

$22.4 billion -- Aggregate amount received in fiscal year 2004 by the 2.6 million living veterans receiving compensation for service-connected disabilities. See Table 512 and 513, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

$59.6 billion -- Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2004. See Table 512, 2006 edition, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/national_security_veterans_affairs/

------

Editor's note: Some of the preceding data were collected in surveys and, therefore, are subject to sampling error. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau's Public Information Office: telephone: 301- 763-3030; fax: 301-457-3670; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.
 
 
Our Protectors, Our Veterans
 
The lives of some known and many not, have touched us. There's little difference than found in any other war, with caskets holding their bodies, now come home they to rest. They were our protectors, it is their duty they have done, and they did their best, and again, lives of some known and many not, have touched us. How many times has the "story of stories" been repeated, by millions of families throughout the ages since first spoken? "He gave His only Begotten Son", rings on and on. May that sacrifice never be forgotten. Likewise, millions of other sons and daughters have been given, as our Protectors, in their service; to God, to country, to family, to community. They, too, gave up their begotten children, their loved ones, for us, for all of us, to never be forgotten. As was His sacrifice, is theirs, our protectors, for the ever living hope of futures bright, we join in humble gratitude, to honor and to comfort all who need. May our protectors, our veterans, never be forgotten.
 
In addition to the horrors and ravages of war itself, during each era of our protectors, our veterans, have had to face such issues as we have seen; issues such as radiation, psychedelics, agent orange, chemicals, biological agents and unproven experimental vaccines. It is my belief that it is our ultimate responsibility to do what we can to minimize these types of issues that were unnecessary to have occurred in the first place. We owe our protectors this, too, for all current and future generations. If we do not protect our protectors, our veterans, who indeed, will protect them?
 
The health and well being issues of our protectors, our veterans of all eras and of the reserves, guards, and active duty military of today are real. This should be our focus, this should be our purpose, this should be our commitment, and this is what we owe to our protectors, our veterans.
 
If we do not protect our protectors, our veterans, who indeed will protect us?
 
2006 Richard G. Shuster (from Rick's Random Ramblings, Our Protectors, Our Veterans )
 
 
 

Why Wear The Poppy On Veteran's Day

-Author Unknown

"Please wear a poppy", the lady said

And held one forth, but I shook my head.

Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,

And her face was old and lined with care;

But beneath the scars the years had made

There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,

Bouncing along on care-free feet.

His smile was full of joy and fun,

"Lady," said he, "may I have one?"

When she'd pinned it on he turned to say

"Why do we wear a poppy today?"

The lady smiled in her wistful way

and answered, "This is Remembrance Day,

And the poppy there is the symbol for 

The gallant men who died in war.

And because they did, you and I are free -

That's why we wear a poppy, you see."

"I had a boy about your size,

with golden hair and big blue eyes,

He loved to play and jump and shout,

free as a bird he would race about,

as the years went by he learned and grew

and became a man - as you will too.

He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile

but he'd seemed with us such a little while

when the war broke out and he went away.

I still remember his face that day

when he smiled at me and said "Goodbye,

I'll be back soon, Mom, so please don't cry".

But the war went on and he had to stay,

and all I could do was wait and pray.

His letters told of the awful fight,

(I can see it still in my dreams at night)

with the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,

and the mines and bullets, and bombs and fire.

"Till at last, at last, the war was won -

and that's why we wear a poppy, son".

The small boy turned as if to go,

then said, "Thanks lady, I'm glad to know,

that sure did sound like an awful fight,

but your son - did he come back all right?

A tear rolled down each faded cheek;

she shook her head, but didn't speak.

I slunk away in a sort of shame,

and if you were me you'd feel the same;

for our thanks, in giving, is oft delayed,

though our freedom was bought - and thousands paid:

and so when we see a poppy worn,

let us reflect on the burden borne

by those who gave their very all

when asked to answer their country's call

that we at home in peace might live.

Then wear a poppy! Remember - and give!

Veterans Day-Honoring our
nurse veterans

Many people today think of Veterans Day as a day of remembrance of those soldiers who bravely fought in past wars to preserve the freedoms that we have today. However, most people fail to remember the hundreds of thousands of nurses who stood next to those soldiers during the darkest of hours.

Lt. Col. Janis A. Nark, an Army Corps nurse, made the following statement during the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, "I'm a vet too. I was your nurse. Honor me. Reach out to me. Please, help me to heal."
Find out how you can honor these nurses.

Veterans Day is observed on November 11. The holiday was orginally called Armistice Day, and it commermorated the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. Fighting stopped at 11 a.m., the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

In 1954, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who had served in World War II (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953). Today, the holiday honors all veterans. Click here to read an inspiring poem by Emily Strange titled "Vietnam Women's Memorial".

World War I (1914-1918)-Women who wanted to serve their country during World War I did so by serving as a nurse. Navy nurses expanded their number from 20 in 1908 to 160 on the eve of World War I. In addition to normal hospital and clinic duties, they were active in training local nurses in the U.S. overseas possessions and the Navy's male enlisted medical personnel. By the end of the war, Navy nurses numbered more than 1,550.

It was another 23 years before women would be officially considered an integral part of the United States military establishment. However, this war proved that women were an important component to the United States both in war and at home. Women in this war helped give a huge push in the passing of the 19th Amendment, the suffrage amendment. In proposing the passing of the 19th Amendment, President Woodrow Wilson's dramatic plea asked that the senators recognize the contributions made by American women in the war. Wilson proclaimed:

"...Are we alone to ask and take the utmost that our women can give service and sacrifice of every kind, and still say we do not see what title that gives them to stand by our sides in the guidance of the affairs of their nations and ours? We have made partners of the women in this war; shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and a sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and right?"

During World War I, more than 10,000 U.S. Army nurses served overseas in France, Russia, Italy, China, England, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.  One hundred and two Army nurses died as a result of illness or accident while serving overseas. Over the course of the war, approximately 265 Army nurse died as a result of their service, the majority from influenza.

At least three Army nurses were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second-highest military honor. Several received the Distinguished Service Medal, our highest noncombat award, and more than 20 were awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Nurses were wounded, and several died overseas and are buried in military cemeteries far from home.

By the end of World War I, about 34,000 women served as nurses in all the armed forces, which included by then nurses in the Marines and Coast Guard as well as in the Army and Navy.

World War II (1939-1945)-World War II was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind. More than 59,000 American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during the war. The skill and dedication of these nurses contributed to the extremely low post-injury mortality rate among American military forces in every theater of the war. Overall, fewer than four percent of the American soldiers who received medical care in the field or underwent evacuation died from wounds or disease.

  • Approximately 124,000 nurses graduated from the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps program to serve during World War II.
  • Nurses received 1,619 medals, citations and commendations during the war, reflecting the courage and dedication of all who served. Sixteen medals were awarded posthumously to nurses who died as a result of enemy fire. Thirteen flight nurses died in aircraft crashes while on duty.
  • The need for nurses clarified the status of the nursing profession. The Army reflected this changing attitude in June 1944 when it granted its nurse officers commissions and full retirement privileges, dependents' allowances and equal pay. Moreover, the government provided free education to nursing students between 1943 and 1948. World War II changed American society irrevocably and redefined the status and opportunities of the professional nurse.
  • Nurses specializing in the care of psychiatric patients were in great demand. One out of every 12 patients in Army hospitals was admitted for psychiatric care, and the Army discharged approximately 400,000 soldiers for psychiatric reasons. The Surgeon General developed a 12-week program to train nurses in the care and medication of these patients.

Korean War (1950-1953)-At the time the war broke out in 1950, there were about 22,000 women in the armed forces, with roughly one-third in nursing or health-related jobs. At the peak of the war, the number of women in the armed forces was 48,700, declining to about 35,000 by the war's end. The exact number of Army Nurse Corp officers who saw action in the Korean War over the course of the three-year conflict is unknown. However, Army nurse participants vary from 540 to 1,502. An undetermined number of Army Nurse Corps officers served in the Far East Command at that time. While not physicially located in the combat zone, these women suffered many of the same deprivations, rose to meet similar relentless challenges and worked long, hard hours. Indeed, the contributions of all Army Nurse Corps officers who served during the Korean War, whether in Korea, the Far East Command or other worldwide locales, were significant. Because the nation and the Army Nurse Corps were simultaneously locked in the depths of a critical and dangerous nursing shortage, it is noteworthy that the small number of caregivers was capable of providing support for the enormous number of casualties. In this era, the Army rarely acknowledged the contributions of service members with awards. It recognized only the highest levels of performance. Thus it is not surprising that during this war, authorities approved and awarded only nine Legions of Merit, 120 Bronze Stars and 173 Commendation Ribbons to Army nurses whose service during the hostilities were exceptional. 

Vietnam War (1962-1973)- "The women's war was different from the men's-instead of exploding in the jungle, it blew up in the mind. Surrounded by death, the nurses had to shut down emotionally. They could not show their feelings to the soldiers they were trying to heal."-a former Army nurse in Vietnam.

  • It is estimated that more than 265,000 women volunteered during the Vietnam War (this includes the Red Cross, other volunteer organizations and the militiary).
  • 11,500 women served as nurses and other documented roles, more than 5,000 of these were in the Army Nurse Corps.
  • Army nurses who served in Vietnam averaged 23.6 years of age and were relatively new to nursing; only 35 percent had more than two years of nursing experience. Nurses were both female (79 percent) and male (21 percent). Nurses typically served a 12-month tour in Vietnam; working six days a week, 12 hours a day (information from the U.S. Army Center of Military History).
  • "It is stated that the military, which prided itself on records it kept in Vietnam, counted the enemy number of weapons captured, for example, cannot to this day say with certainty how many women served. The Army that sent them never bothered to count them."-Laura Palmer, Shrapnel in the Heart.
  • In 1970, Brig. Gen. Anna Mae Hays, head of the Army Nurse Corps, became the first woman to attain a star rank in nursing.
http://click.nursingknowledge-email.org/?ffcb10-fe531d777360067a7c14-fdfb16797466027c72147172-ff021572746207

Honor these nurses by learning about their experiences

Vietnam Nurses with Dana Delany-A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the DVD go to The Vietnam Women's Memorial. http://click.nursingknowledge-email.org/?ffcb10-fe511d777360067a7c16-fdfb16797466027c72147172-ff021572746207

Cadet Nurse Stories: The Call for and Response of Women During World War II

Sigma Theta Tau International Closed Edition Noel Print; Limited quantities available.

 

Sources for this newsletter:
http://www.womensmemorial.org

www.palletmastersworkshop.com
http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/femvets4.html
http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/femvets5.html
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/72-14/72-14.htm
http://korea50.army.mil/history/factsheets/armynurses.shtml
Women Veterans: Past, Present and Future, Robert E. Klein, PhD

 

 
Transforming Appreciation into Action

How can those of us who never served in our military possibly demonstrate our gratitude, appreciation and reverence for the men and women who wore the uniform and fought the fights to protect our freedom?

To be sure, we have our holidays. This Saturday, for example, is Veterans Day -- the day set aside for expressing appreciation to those who endured the torment of war on our behalf. In the spring, there's Memorial Day, which is dedicated to those who gave their lives.

And then are the monuments and memorials. They dot our great cities and small towns. From soaring marble in Washington, DC to the simple plaques and statues honoring war dead in front of state capitols and city halls, they command our attention and focus our thoughts.

Each of these is worthy in its own right. But shouldn't there be more?

As young men and women once again put themselves in harm's way in Iraq, Afghanistan and a range of other theaters that might remain secret for years, thoughts and prayers feel inadequate. Appreciation demands something more tangible.

Not tangible in the sense of a check or a shiny new car -- though neither ought be cast aside out of hand. Instead, something tangible that the veterans whom we honor on Saturday can experience personally rather than contenting themselves with the indistinct well-wishes of a nation. And as much as we might like to pursue the shiny new car idea, practicality probably stands as too great a hurdle.

So what to do?

There's really only one thing: seek out a veteran -- a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member, even someone you run into on the street -- take their hand and thank them for their service.

This suggestion is hardly new. Indeed, it's almost a cliche. But the problem with clichés is that they lose their meaning and their impact. When someone suggests that we find and thank a veteran on Saturday, it tends to enter through one ear and exit through the other while we peruse newspaper circulars for great Veterans Day deals on cars and furniture.

This year should be different.

There are more than 250,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines deployed overseas, many in Iraq and Afghanistan. The World War II generation -- the men who overcame Germany and Japan -- is slowly fading away.

Now is the time. Not just to think good thoughts and rely on whispered prayers. It's time to reach out and say "thank you." It's time to get up and do something. It's time to translate appreciation into action.

Our vets deserve it.  So does the country that they have for so long protected with courage and honor.

URL:  http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/Transforming-Appreciation-into-Action.html

 
WE WENT, WE SAW, WE CAME, WE ARE HERE!
 
I WAS SENT TO A PLACE SO FAR AWAY.....
MY BODY, SOUL AND MIND IN SO MUCH DISARRAY....
MY FEET THAT TOUCHED THAT GROUND SO STRANGE....
ALL I COULD SMELL WAS STENCH OF GONE BY SOULS.....
MY SOUL I KNEW HE KEPT......MY FAITH I KNEW I HAD
THROUGH IT ALL I KNEW I WAS THERE -- NO TURNING BACK
 
THE LAND I FEARED SO MUCH BECAME MY HOME
I SAW AND FELT WHAT I HAD FEARED THE MOST I HELD MY HEAD UP SO EVER HIGH---I WAS THERE.....
I SLEPT SO FEW EACH NIGHT--THE FIRELIGHTS THAT SWEPT THE DARK....KEPT MY EYES WIDE OPEN STANDING GUARD...
 
I SAW MY BROTHERS FEELING THE SAME, WHICH WE BECAME EACH OTHERS COMFORT ZONE
THE COLORS WERE ALL THE SAME-- WE BLED THE SAME...
WE LEFT  NO ONE BEHIND.....BEHIND WE LEFT SO MUCH....
 
WHAT BECAME MY GUN--BECAME MY LIFE
I OFTEN WONDERED WILL MY GUN JAM TONIGHT.....
WILL IT LEAVE ME AT THEIR HANDS TO TAKE ME AWAY.....
ONE THING I KNEW THERE WERE HANDS THAT WOULDNT LET IT HAPPEN... I KNEW THOSE OTHER HANDS WERE THERE FOR ME AS THEY ARE TODAY...
IS THIS GOING TO BE MY LAST AND FINAL DAY....
AS I OFTEN WONDERED SO AIMLESSLY.....
 
I OFTEN WONDERED WILL MY WIFE SEE ME AGAIN...
WILL MY SON AND THE CHILD IN HER SEE MY FACE ...
EACH DAY I AWAIT FOR A LETTER FROM HOME...
SOME DAYS THE LETTERS CAME AND SOME DAY'S DELAYED...
THE TIME OF MAIL CALL THERE THEY WERE WITH ALL THE LOVE I  KNEW I HAD COMING FROM HOME....
 
MY LORD AND SAVIOR WAS THERE ALWAYS WITH ME...
I KNEW MY FAMILY NEVER CEASED TO PRAY...
ONE THING I KNOW THAT KEPT MY FAITH IS THAT
WITH HIS HAND I WOULD SURELY MAKE IT HOME.....
 
MANY YEARS HAVE PASSED AND NOW I AM HOME....
WE WERE BLESSED WITH ONE MORE AND NOW WE ARE FIVE...
MY WIFE MY KIDS MY FACE THEY SEE AND TOUCH...
 WITH THEIR LOVING HEART AND SHOW ME THE HONOR I GOT FOR BEING IN A PLACE SO FAR AWAY.....
FOR FREEDOM IS A FLAVOR NO ONE CAN HAVE UNLESS A UNIFORM IS PUT ON TO SHOW WE PROUDLY EMBRACE OLD GLORY WITH OUR BODIES, SOULS AND MINDS.....
 
I HAD CHARLIE ON MY BACK THAN GAVE  ME A MEMORY TO BRING HOME LEAVING MY SHED BLOOD IN A FOREIGN LAND..
YET I SUFFER EACH DAY WHAT WAS THAN AND WHAT I HAVE BECOME YET MY MIND STILL IS BACK THERE.....
NONETHELESS, I MADE IT HOME--YET MANY LIE IN HONOR ON GRANITE REMINDING US THAT IS THE PRICE THEY PAID...
 
WHEREAS MANY STILL ARE YET TO BE FOUND AND MANY WILL NEVER RETURN.  HOWEVER, MY BRETHEN I WILL ALWAYS SAY  'WELCOME HOME A JOB WELL DONE!' 'YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN!'
 
Ret. USArmy Sgt. Bennie and Patricia Griego 
NM NamVet @ aol.com or Nevernope @ aol.com
 
Peralta, New Mexico
 
 

 
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