America is a country that is constantly at war since its entrance in World War II. General Stanley McChrystal claims that the country’s capacity to separate its military from citizens has caused a dissociation that leads to the question, “Why is the veteran important?” An all-volunteer force in the US and many countries around the world has lessened the burden societies feels when leveraging military conflict as an instrument for public policy. Thus, we find ourselves in a world where many people do not fully recognize the importance of military forces to the protection of our lives. It is unlikely that you or anyone you know personally knows someone in the armed forces. The following is an illustration of the relevance of veterans to our lives.
Why Is It Important To Appreciate Veterans?
Honoring veterans is important because of the time they sacrificed to protect our rights and freedoms. Veterans spend a huge chunk of their lives on active duty. America's veterans deserve special commendation like a Veterans day because of the immensity of their duties. Men and women typically go for about nine months when on active deployment, where they may my go to a combat or non-combat zone. We should honor veterans because as we sleep, some brave soul is out there fighting to maintain our freedom. Veterans sacrifice the most productive years of their lives in war zones (Bevis, 2019). We must consider that while they are off fighting wars, American citizens are busy improving their lives. This is all possible because of these brave ones. Appreciating veterans means giving them an equal footing to compete with their peers once they come back home.
Military forces deserve respect and honor across the nation because they are on the front lines of some of the harshest wars around the globe, keeping our families safe. The stanzas in America's national anthem, the star spangled banner, are a perfect demonstration of the influence the military has in shaping a country. November 11th, veterans day is a testament to how much America's history is shaped by its heroes. George Washington served as a General and fought for America's independence from its colonial master. Each soldier' commitment to defend their family and give their life if need be for their country and freedom is admirable. Not many people would take on a role with such risk. Every country owes its sovereignty and freedom to someone in the army. It is only fitting that they should gain recognition as heroes.
Joining the army comes with unforeseen health care issues. Bravery and courage are not enough to protect someone from the horrors of war. Few veterans can speak to civilians in their country about what it takes to serve and protect freedom around the world. Lunden claims that we should not take veterans’ service for granted (2017). Note that veterans account for 13.5% of suicide deaths among US adults but consist of only 7.9% of the country’s adult population, about 1.5 times higher than for non-military men and women. This is a worrisome statistic that should point us towards a greater issue. Appreciating a veteran means that we understand the depth of their sacrifice and have deemed it necessary to integrate them in society once they are back home.
It is further crucial to mention that appreciating veterans gives them hope that they made the right decision when serving our country. Many service men and women return home with a form of disability once they are released from active duty. It means they have charged into battle, again and again, with no assurance they'll return home. The physical, emotional, social, and mental suffering veterans endure is heart-wrenching. Men and women in our military are the perfect poster child for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Lunden, 2017). Their sacrifice should mean something, beginning with comprehensive medical and psychiatric care tailored to military personnel.
What Do Veterans Deserve?
Veterans deserve government and community attention as with other groups in society. It is difficult to group a disabled veteran among people that maybe for instance, lost limbs due to accidents at work or were born with the disability. Veterans need representation in the civilian government to address their problems as they have special needs that civilian laws may not adequately cover. For instance, psychiatric help for a guy that lost their foot to an IED in war is different from a civilian’s problems. Creating a special military system to address their problems would help alleviate some of these issues as the experts tasked with helping them have military backgrounds or have some form of training (Bevis, 2019). This would help alleviate the high suicide rate among veterans.
Thomas Jefferson said that a nation as a society forms a moral person and that all members are responsible for society. When we decided to defer the defense of our country to our soldiers, we made a moral choice that incurs a moral obligation. This involves looking for groups and organizations that help soldiers once they return to their families. In this way, we would gain in-depth understanding of issues that plague veterans, allowing us to come up with effective remedies for their problems (Bevis, 2019). The horrors of war, as most of us are unfamiliar to, are extremely damaging to one's physical and mental wellbeing. Appreciating veterans would involve helping them readjust to civilian life as they’ve earned some reprieve from the horrors of war.
Governments should further start nation-wide programs for soldiers returning home from war. Well-funded VA hospitals are a good start to help and appreciate veterans as they incur low or zero costs when they visit these centers. It is further important to discern that utilizing former service men and women with qualifications in psychology and psychiatry would help soldiers more than civilians. Studies show that soldiers have less stress if they are surrounded by their fellow service men and women. They can be heard. Such people find it hard to confide in civilians that have not served in any branch of the military. Sincere appreciation means forming state and non-governmental organizations that aim to address issues that face soldiers upon their return (Lunden, 2017). They should have access to excellent free medical care and access to quality psychiatric services that would help them better integrate into the community.
How to Honor Veterans That Fought and Served the World
Contributing to veteran causes makes a lot of difference. Many individuals do not realize that some of the brave souls that fought for our country are homeless and live on the street. Making a commitment to volunteer to veteran and military families helps ease the pressure they face as they adjust to their new normal. The most helpful voluntary groups include hospitals, charities, or local organizations directly involved in making veterans’ lives better.
Furthermore, it would help to donate to a cause that helps veterans. A donation can never be too small. Many people do not perceive themselves as “donation-giving material” due to financial constraints. Just as a rock would break because of a drop of water landing on the same spot, small donations can mean the difference between a hot meal and a bed or sleeping hungry and homeless. Groups such as the Wounded Warrior Project provide targeted help to military veterans, enabling them to flourish as civilians.
Governments should further consider the best way to integrate veterans in managerial positions when it comes to government and community agencies. Giving these soldiers jobs and helping them gain recognition as effective workers gives them stability and a chance to live full and productive lives (Bevis, 2019). The important part in all this is to remember that each veteran risked death and sacrificed something, maybe not physically, but they risked something when they chose to join the military. This is not to guilt-trip or badger people to serve soldiers or look at them in another light. It is more about revealing what is hidden beneath the veil of an honored veteran, one whose life and sacrifice appear for naught when they arrive home. Granted, they get medals. But a medal doesn't put on the table for your family. You could be homeless with medals of honor! We need to sacrifice time and fight for our soldiers to keep them from being homeless. Their bravery and service should be rewarded rather than acting as a source of their stress. Our support for veterans should be drawn from respect and determination to show gratitude for protecting our collective rights and freedoms.
Veterans deserve respect and admittance to any department within community organizations they apply to if they have the necessary qualifications. As they fought for us, so should we support their dreams. We must consider each of them as a person rather than an institution. A veteran has to handle their personal life once they leave service. We should be ready to serve them as a moral obligation. Knowing our soldiers means realizing how best to serve them. It means taking up the fight at home on their behalf to ensure the country remembers their story, predicated on risk, valiance and sacrifice.
Bevis, J. (2019, February 27). How veterans can help veterans. Forbes. Retrieved April 4, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbevis/2019/02/27/how-veterans-can-help-veterans/?sh=66a16a54ec77
Lunden, J. (2017, November 10). The long-term care benefit many veterans are missing out on. Forbes. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/11/10/the-long-term-care-benefit-many-veterans-are-missing-out-on/?sh=335cabcd6c23