Letter: Military veterans deserve thanks, may need help

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On Veterans Day, we honor those who served in the U.S. armed forces because veterans made sacrifices to serve this nation out of a sense of duty and patriotism.

Although our veterans span generations and served in different places, they share common experiences. Some of these: boot camp, separation from friends and family, immense stress, and great responsibility.

Many of our veterans also experienced combat, and its horrors have altered their lives forever. As veterans leave the service, they often face new battles as they attempt to reintegrate into civilian life.

Some veterans leave the service with debilitating wounds, both physically and mentally. Some veterans face unemployment because civilian organizations do not appreciate the valuable skills the veterans learned and developed in the military. These issues can begin a downward spiral to such ills as substance abuse and homelessness. We cannot let those who have sacrificed so much for us fall to such lows.

I ask you to honor our veterans every day, but especially on Veterans Day. Fly your flag high. Attend a Veterans Day parade. Think of the veterans who continue to face their own battles. But do not stop there. Talk to them. Thank them. Shake their hands.

If you know of a veteran in need, please let me know. Organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars may be able to help. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Deering Memorial Post 6859 is willing to try.

Joel Demers, commander
VFW Post 6859