This article is written by ISDA Contributing Editor Tony Traficante, Lt. Colonel, US Army, (Ret.).
“A Nation That Does Not Support Its Veterans shall not long endure, for it has lost honor.”
It was early morning, cold and damp, a chilled drizzle surrounding the area…
They lay in trenches waiting for more, yet hoping the weather would deter further attacks. The battlefield before them was quiet…too quiet. Little did they know that not far away in a railcar, Germany surrendered and signed the armistice agreement with the Allies. The “war to end all wars” had ended, leaving behind some nine million dead soldiers and millions more wounded. It was November 11, 1918, the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month.
It was Armistice Day.
It now is “Veterans Day,” a day set aside to honor our Veterans.
The story of our Veterans is one of bravery and determination. No matter where ordered, they have answered that call. In 1775, they fought to build a nation; then in 1861, they fought brother against brother, to preserve that same nation. In 1917 and again 1941, they were in Europe and the Pacific, fighting tyrants to free millions. They fought in the bitter cold mountains of Korea in 1951. They were in the jungles of South Vietnam in 1965. They also fought in the hot deserts of Iraq and then in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. Everyday…they stand vigilant, around the world, fighting terrorists.
Veterans are everyday people: They are family, neighbors and friends. They entered the military at a young age, some not even old enough to drink or vote. Their “basic” training was tough, it was extensive, it was precise, and it built character. Discipline and teamwork were crucial — their lives depended on it. They came as “recruits,” they left as “old hands”.
They all took the oath to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…and they have. They have not failed us and we must not fail them. It is our duty to care for the wounded and support our military, their families, and our Veterans. WE MUST NOT DO LESS!