In 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War ended. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that date as “Armistice Day.” Wilson was hopeful that the observance would remind citizens of the horrors of WWI. It would help make that conflict the “war to end all wars.” Of course, as I and some 19.6 million living U.S. Veterans can attest, that dream remains an aspiration. Military service still safeguards America’s way of life. What we now call “Veterans Day” provides a continuing way to honor that sacrifice.
Personally I never tire of being thanked for my service. I also try to thank brave men and women who serve and have served. Our gratitude should extend to all active duty personnel, Reservists, members of the Guard and Veterans of all eras. Just a “thank you for serving” goes a long way. Fortunately, however, you can do even more on behalf of our Veterans.
Volunteering to serve those who have served. VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) offers all of us a chance to show our appreciation in action. If you can, I encourage you to explore how you can support patients and staff at a VA program or nearby facility. For example, you might be interested in the VA programs that are part of President Obama’s United We Serve. Even if you cannot spare time to volunteer, you can make a very welcome donation to a VA facility.
Meanwhile, a quick way you can honor today is to print out our 2015 Veterans Day poster. It’s this year’s winner in our national poster contest. Over the next few days, I will be talking about more ways to thank America’s Veterans.
In addition to volunteering opportunities, the VA also offers a wide variety of career positions in many different areas. Interested? Join VA today.