To the editor:
Senator Burr declared March 29, 2011 as “Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans Day” and renewed the declaration yearly until 2014.
Imagine my surprise when I contacted county officials and discovered they were unaware. I have been anticipating the physical appearance of city and/or county officials at various public celebrations but have been disappointed. Veterans step up to the plate to recognize their own, voicing their respect and honoring those past and present for their service and sacrifice, organizing events and supporting fundraising efforts. Officials are verbally supportive of these events yet they fail to participate.
To me, it speaks volumes. Election time rolls around and the various participants seeking political positions are eager to receive their share of the “pie.” The veteran community, including families and loved ones, is large in the area. It makes sense to me that if one wants to obtain support that it should be a two-way street.
That being said, the veteran population is decreasing at an alarming rate. There are over 1 million veteran survivors of World War II and 3.5 million of the Korea War, but they are dying at 550 per day. There are approximately 850,000 Vietnam veterans alive, the average age being 62, and approximately 390 are dying daily before they reach 70 years of age. To my knowledge, the statistics on Gulf War, Desert Storm and Afghanistan veterans are not “in.”
The time to support our nation’s veterans should include those past and present. The families need our support as well. For the brave service members who have served and are serving, the war has not stopped. The physical wounds are obvious but the mental wounds are just as challenging.
I encourage our citizens and local government officials to show their support and thank veterans for their service.
Patricia A. Davis