I have had many loved ones involved with the military, including cousins, grand parents, and close friends. Even if they served or are serving in a different war or time period, the unity found among these patriots is undeniable. Because of bravery and dedication, we, as U.S. citizens, can continue to say, "God Bless America". Unfortunately, I think we also need to pray for the future of our veterans.
As the media has portrayed, there have been many difficulties for aging veterans with our Department of Veteran Affairs. Heart-wrenching stories of our country's heroes left untreated in hospitals, receiving issues with financial assistance and even deaths going unnoticed by our government system. This is careless. Not only is the VA [becoming] unsupportive, but I worry that as the older generations of veterans pass, what will happen to the patriotism of this country?
American Legions are declining in membership. The majority of their supporters are of the aging veterans and new members are few and far between of the younger generation. This volunteer organization is dependent on its local community and outreach and that does not seem to be happening as much to recent veterans. As I think back on my youth, days like Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day broadcast the Legions and what these members did and continue to do for our country. Whether it was during a parade or a special service, veterans were there.
Will this continue? What is the future of our upcoming veterans? Will they be the community supporters serving chicken on Mother's Day and funeral services for passing soldiers? Or will they be enclosed in the comfort of their own homes, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and afraid to share their stories and service to the community and country?
We can make sure our current veterans and upcoming veterans feel appreciated and interested in continuing the legacy that has been left. Talk with a local American Legion and ask what things they are doing to recruit and gain new, younger members? Reach out to family or friends who are recent veterans and see what they are interested in doing to continue the legacy of patriotism and remembrance for our country.
Today is the day to show off your Memorial Day poppy and pray for our future. God Bless America and thank you to our troops, past and present.
|Photo received here|