This is a week we honor the faithful and dedicated Americans who have served in our military. On behalf of Lakeside, I want to say a huge “thank you” to all our veterans for their service and commitment to our country. Our military personnel take a significant set of risks as they confront some of the most dangerous forces that we have ever faced, particularly in light of terrorist activities so prevalent in our world today.
Appreciating and honoring our veterans
I am extremely appreciative of the ways that so many have honored our veterans. It is just good and gratifying to see our country band together to recognize our soldiers’ sacrifice. We owe them so much for all they have done to keep our nation free and to promote a steadfast presence in a most difficult set of circumstances.
We still have significant numbers of suicides, rampant post-traumatic stress issues, homelessness, unemployment, addictions, family stress, health crises, mental health issues, and a myriad of related issues our veterans face each day as a result of their military experiences.
We cannot minimize the devastating impact of these issues to our veterans, their families and all of us who relate to them and care about what happens to them.
I know we have read or seen public relation information which shows us about the needs of our veterans. However, we have a long way to go to provide for the plethora of issues that confront them. They need:
- Better health care
- Far more counseling and programs for PTSD
- Transition counseling for work/employment
- Family counseling and guidance, and
- A veterans network of support
A veterans network is critical as it is where veterans can talk with other veterans about what they have had to live through, and how they can adapt to a lifestyle apart from the world of military. This is essential, particularly for those veterans who have had several sequential tours of duty as the adjustments back to normal life are extremely difficult to navigate. For them, it feels alien as they enter a whole new world of work and attempt to support and adjust with their families.
I hope the emphasis on honoring our veterans continues to grow.
I am encouraged by the progress we have made. I also hope that we as a country continue to provide more support for our veterans and their families. Their needs are great, their humility is even greater.
We have a significant commitment and obligation to help them find success even when out of the military. To me, the best way to support and honor our veterans is to give them the tools to find a life of success once their military service is over. It is the least we can do for all they have done for us.
Once again, Happy Veterans Day to all of our veterans. We appreciate you so much!
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network