November 18, 2014

We owe our Veterans our deepest gratitude 365 days of the year | Beckley Register Herald

Last week, I had the honor of joining many of our proud veterans, service members, military families and residents at the 95th annual Welch Veterans Day Parade in McDowell County, one of America’s oldest Veterans Day traditions. It filled me with so much pride and inspiration to witness how Veterans Day uniquely brings our communities together.

We celebrate Veterans Day every year as a reminder to us all that our veterans are our heroes; however, saying “thank you” to our veterans and their families one day a year is just not enough. We owe them our deepest gratitude 365 days of the year.
It is without a doubt that the courage and commitment of our veterans and service members keep the American spirit alive in this country. The men and women who have served risked their lives and protected us so that we can enjoy our freedoms every day. Due to these selfless acts, when our troops return home, we must show them our gratitude each and every day through our actions, contributions and involvement.

There are many ways we can honor our veterans in our daily lives. First, we should all commit to making sure our veterans and service members receive the best education, housing, medical and other services and opportunities they rightly deserve. Many veterans deeply struggle with the adjustment — physically, mentally and emotionally — back to civilian life, and they need our support.

Organizations around our state and country help serve our veterans, service members and our military families in a wide variety of ways. The West Virginia National Guard Foundation, American Legion, Marine Corps League, VFW West Virginia, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation are just a few of the hundreds of groups around America showing their gratitude.
I strongly encourage West Virginians to learn more about how these organizations lend the necessary assistance to our veterans, as well as research additional local, state and national organizations on ways to get involved in some capacity.

Hiring veterans is another common sense way to honor our veterans upon their return home. Our veterans already have the qualifications and assets employers look for when hiring new employees. Like every generation of warriors, today’s young veterans make great hires. Their experiences entail discipline, maturity, crisis management skills, leadership capabilities and loyalty, and their resumes should be at the top of every employer’s stack. Many large companies and small businesses alike have already taken the pledge to hire veterans, and those businesses should serve as an example for employers nationwide.

I have said time and time again, West Virginia is one of the most patriotic states in the country. And we can all agree that we are proud of the number of veterans that have served our military honorably and proudly. It’s important that we continue to do all we can do to defend them in return.

On behalf of the grateful state of West Virginia, I want to again thank our veterans for their patriotism and sacrifice, not just today but every day. Let us all continue to stand up for them and honor them all year round.


By:  By Joe Manchin