Estherville News Editorial – Thank a veteran, really
Wednesday is Veterans Day. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, Emmet County veterans will commemorate the day at Veterans Park, located on Central Ave. across from Estherville Pharmacy. This is the second time the event has been held at this park, which was dedicated in June, 2019. Last year, Pastor Doug Burton talked about the cold experienced by veterans throughout the years of war. This year, the weather will be much more favorable.
The words, “Thank you for your service,” often accompany these events, addressed to the still-living veterans.
Veterans writing on Military.com say, “…if we really want to honor veterans, we should do something more substantive. What you do for a veteran is often more important than what you say.”
Suggestions of ways to thank veterans in deed as well as word include:
Write a check: there are countless veterans organizations that could use extra cash for programs that help wounded warriors, assist current servicemembers who are having financial difficulties, and give job counseling to those leaving the military. Emmet County’s VFWs and American Legion chapters give back to veterans right here and to the community at large.
Donate frequent flier miles: if you travel a lot for business or vacations and collect frequent flier miles, you can donate them. The Fisher House Foundation is one organization that has a Hero Miles Program, which helps family members be close to the bedsides of loved ones who were injured.
Hire a veteran: if you work in any kind of management position, you can help your business or organization improve its veteran hiring practices. PsychArmor is a non-profit organization which provides top-class free webinars on how to find, hire, train and retain veterans and military spouses. Emmet County is ahead of the game as a designated Hometown for veterans.
Donate pro bono hours: if you are a lawyer, participate in a program supporting veterans through the state bar association. Many vulnerable vets face legal challenges not only related to compensation from the Veterans Administration, but also regarding upgrading their discharges, landlord/tenant issues from deployments, criminal defense, and bankruptcy.
Volunteer: if you prefer to focus on grass roots efforts, you can volunteer with the VFW and also interact with organizations such as the Veterans Success Resource Group that brings together hundreds of veterans and family members in one day to meet representatives from all the local government agencies that hire and support veterans, businesses that want to hire vets, or include veteran-owned businesses in their supply chain, universities that provide vet services, and a multitude of veteran service organizations.
Use a veteran-owned business. Approximately nine percent of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S. are veteran owned. You could support veteran entrepreneurship by frequenting those businesses or adding them to your company’s supply chain.
It’s great to say thank you to a veteran on Veterans Day, but it’s even greater to take action that makes life better for those who sacrificed for the freedom of all.