Cheers to our veterans, including those living in Dubuque and elsewhere! Whatever capacity, era, or branch they were part of, they deserve thanks, especially those currently receiving hospice care.
And whether they served for four years, made a career out of it before retiring, or are still serving, they still are appreciated. Not only have they defended our country’s interests foreign and domestically, they sometimes have undergone more physical and mental pain than the rest of us due to their service.
The team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice work with many clients who have served in different capacities. We enjoy meeting with them and meeting their families. Their medical conditions are all unique but some may have different medical needs.
They also enjoy the independence that home health care can provide and we’re happy to help them. Because of their military benefits, they likely could receive care in military homes and assisted living centers. But they, and their families, enjoy the ability of being able to remain in their own home. This lets them be surrounded by their possessions, their family, and their neighborhood. It may even be the very place their family lived in when they served so they kept it in mind while they were defending their country.
This time of year is a perfect time to think about the important role that veterans have in our life.
Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, a federal holiday, which means many private employers are closed and most schools and municipalities are also closed.
There are often a variety of programs in communities, including ceremonies.
The holiday has been celebrated in its current form since 1971, but the day actually was marked for veterans for decades before this.
Originally, it was called Armistice Day, to mark the end of World War I in 1918, which at the time was considered the most bloody and destructive war for America and other countries as well. President Wilson declared that the 11th hour, 11th day, and 11th month of the year should be formally recognized.
Over the years, the reason for the celebration and the official process for it changed including in 1954 when it was expanded to include any veteran not just World War I soldiers. All veterans include not just those served in wars but those who served in peacetime or provided support for those who are fighting.
While Memorial Day in May is dedicated to those who have fallen and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, Veterans Day recognizes the contributions of everyone who has ever served or is presently serving.
Why it’s important
We know how Veterans Day is celebrated and why it was originally created. But why should it still be marked today? There are lots of reasons.
- It helps to recognize the sacrifices people made. People who serve have to leave their homes, friends, and families for months, even years on certain tours, sometimes with unclear objectives or mixed opinions from the public. But they’ve chosen to do this willingly to defend our country. Whether they were in actual combat or helped provide support, they should be commended.
- They may have more severe medical conditions than others their age. Even if they weren’t directly injured on a battlefield or combat zone, there is plenty of damage that could have been sustained. In some cases, some problems may not show up until years later, such as exposure to toxins that eventually affect the lungs or other organs. Or an injury sustained in the military decades earlier, such as back or joint problems, may flare up as other things about their body change.
- Veteran stories need to be shared. Whatever your thoughts are on current politics and world affairs, those who have helped us get where we are should be thanked. Many of them, especially those in wartime, had painful experiences that may still be affecting them today. If they’re willing to share what they went through, they can give more of a personal look at the challenges of war that are more accurate than anything on TV, in movies, or in video games. Today’s youth should continue to hear these messages to team them that freedom can require sacrifice and why military service can be honorable. Hearing stories also can help people connect with other veterans in their life or family members from previous generations who are no longer around to share their stories.
- They deserve our thanks. We don’t have a draft anymore, so service is optional not required. So, veterans chose to take this noble path and vow to protect us. Our country has been lucky that we’ve had few wars in our country, but our military has helped to keep it this way. Even people who have served in other country’s military should be thanked – while they may not have served American forces, they also experienced the challenges and sacrifices of military service.