(From the newsletter of Jim Traner’s Vietnam unit)
When I travel to my local VA hospital for treatment, I see mostly aging Vietnam Veterans in the hallways, but increasingly, I see more recent veterans (male and female) that look almost out of place among the the overwhelming number of veterans of our war.
Our war puts us in a unique position. What we have been and continue going through, puts us in a position to better understand what our recent brothers and sisters (and sons and daughters, ed.) in arms have given and lost in the war on terrorism. We know what they face in trying to gain recognition and compensation for what what they have given. We are all part of an unbroken chain of service to our country that extends back more than 250 years. The challenges of recent veterans are essentially the same challenges we faced.
So, the next time you encounter a more recent veteran, take the time to thank them for their service. (That’s more than we got!). Let them know they are our brothers and sisters and engage them in conversation. Let them know that we understand better than most what they have been through and what they face now that they have come “back to the world”. Tell them and show them that there is life and love after war.
K.H. Elliott. (11 ACR, 541st MI-)