Veterans Day brings opportunity to show gratitude
November 9, 2012
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - For the last century, we have celebrated the service of our veterans. When the cannons of World War I were silenced, we thought we had fought the "war to end all wars," but as history proved, we still needed our service members.
The brave actions of our veterans endure in the pages of history. However, we should not only remember their gallantry on the battlefield; we must look at the lasting legacy of strength and service they brought with them when they returned home.
What our veterans have done for our nation has been priceless. They have given us "The Greatest Generation," presidents, leaders of industry and developers of our youth. Veterans Day is time to remember a few things about what our veterans are and what we can collectively do for them.
First, our Soldiers, our Army veterans, are Soldiers for life. The same goes for members of every other branch of the military. During their careers and their lives, and you can see this throughout history, they continue to improve their skills, ensuring they remain strong for themselves, their families, their communities and their nation.
It takes a profound strength to wear this nation's uniform. Though one day they remove the uniform, no amount of time or strife can sever the golden thread uniting these veterans in a unique and everlasting bond.
Uniforms have changed many times in the last 237 years. What hasn't changed has been the determination and spiritual strength of the men and women willing to serve this nation.
Second, the military is committed to lifelong success for our service members, veterans and their families by connecting them with opportunities for employment, education and post military service healthcare.
The military is working with the Departments of Defense, Labor, Veterans' Affairs and local communities to transition and reintegrate service members and veterans into civilian life.
In the Army there are multiple efforts to improve this transition process including changes to the Army Career and Alumni Program, Hero 2 Hired employment application tool, Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces, and Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
Our Soldiers, veterans and families have given so much. It is our sacred duty to maintain their trust and faith and remind them they will always remain the strength of Army and the strength of this nation.
Finally, we can't do this alone. Supporting our service members and veterans requires a team approach by the military, other government agencies and the local community.
Service members and veterans don't see themselves as being brave or special; they just say they were doing their jobs.
But what of their jobs when they leave the service? What can each of us do?
Encourage businesses to hire a veteran or military family member: Service members bring exceptional training, values and experience to their civilian jobs. The leadership and technical skills we develop in the military make us valuable additions to any organization.
Spread the word: If you know of an organization that wants to help veterans, encourage them to register with the National Resource Directory so wounded, ill and injured service members and their families can access information about the services they provide.
I encourage you to see the strength of our veterans and their families and look for ways help them. Over this long weekend pick up the phone, send an email or text and profoundly thank a veteran for his or her service to this nation. It is due to their strength and their influence on many currently serving military personnel that they continue to sustain this great nation.
Let's get out there to work together and ensure our veterans have every opportunity to reach their highest potential. We have some great young men and women counting on us to come through for them and their families. Thank you for your current service and thanks to all those who have served.