Thanking a veteran every day

Published 3:23 pm Friday, November 8, 2019

We have all heard the saying, “Freedom is not free,” and we seem to hear this more on days like Veteran’s Day.

Next Monday, Nov. 11, marks another Veteran’s Day. Another year where there will be parades held, ceremonies honoring those who served and assemblies for school children.

While this is an important day to remember, and honor all veterans, we should be honoring those who served every day. Not just one day out of the year.

Observing Veteran’s Day is good, but it’s better to honor and help veterans all year long.

Simple things like saying thank you for your service when you see someone wearing a hat or shirt noting that they are veterans can go a long way.

Remember those Vietnam Veterans who fought yet returned home; many treated so poorly.

It means a lot to these veterans to hear the words thank you.

My father-in-law, who is a Vietnam Veteran and the humblest man I know, has only recently begun to speak of his war experiences and just a few weeks ago visited the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C. for the first time.

Even though he’s a quiet man, I’m sure he appreciates the thank you’s from time to time.

In fact, he has been in many restaurants wearing his Vietnam Veteran hat and told of the young people who came up to him to say thanks and even some paying for his meal.

We must remember that Veterans Day is for all veterans, regardless of what their duty was, and even if the service was during peacetime. Veterans come from all backgrounds and walks of life, and some have given the ultimate sacrifice.

We should honor and thank them every day, not just on Veteran’s Day.

Crystal Vandegrift is a staff reporter for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Crystal.Vandegrift@TheCharlotteGazette.com.