"On this day, we honor every man and woman who has ever worn the uniform of the United States of America. We salute fallen heroes, and keep in our prayers those who are still in harm's way -- like the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan." - President Barack Obama, November 11, 2010.
Today is Veteran's Day, and while many of us complain that it's not Friday yet, that our lunch sucked, or that dammit, we forgot to DVR Gray's Anatomy... our veterans are suffering. They have sacrificed their families, their comfort, their holidays, their bodies, and sometimes their lives, for America and it's people. Our veterans have given their all to protect us... but, ask yourself, how are we protecting them? What have YOU done to honor, support, or assist an American veteran or member of the United States military? Nothing yet? Well... here are some ideas to get you started.
- Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org).
- Donate your old car (helpourveterans.org).
- Volunteer your time at the local VA hospital (va.gov).
- Purchase a Vet Pack or crochet a blanket for a wounded veteran (soldiersangels.org).
- Donate money to help make a paralyzed veteran's house wheelchair accessible (pva.org).
- Can't crochet, and don't have money? Give blood (redcross.org)!
Just do SOMETHING. Did you know:
- There are an estimated 107,000 homeless veterans on any given night.
- There are 140,000 incarcerated veterans.
- 4 to 5 veterans commit suicide everyday, which is over 7 times the national average.
- 300,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ALONE suffer from PTSD, and 320,000 have experienced traumatic brain injuries.
A military friend of ours said it nicely today on Facebook: "Honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good, but also praise the spouses and children of veterans who endure long hours and extended deployments supporting a loved one who chose to serve." Well said, my friend. Freedom is never free.