Veterans Day – A day of recognition, a lifetime of support

We have written before about recognition of certain causes, e.g. Breat Cancer Awareness, that entail a dedicated period of heightened attention (in that case, October). We have applauded those efforts built around times when people are acutely aware of the cause and its importance. But we cautioned against having such a concentrated effort so as to lose sight of the regular or day-to-day efforts that are needed to support individuals dealing with an illness or any other major life situation. Our sentiment is piqued again today, Veteran’s Day.

While I did see a commercial for a bedding company built around Veteran’s Day, I like to think that most people don’t think of it as just a day off, or when banks are closed, or when there might be some sales to take advantage of. I hope that individuals, including those like me who have not served in the military or don’t have any close family members in the service, can appreciate the commitment made by men and women, many of the them quite young, to be that first line of defense for this country. And I hope we also appreciate the sacrifice by made their respective families. Being in the service definitely is a team-effort.

And sports is an important part of the life of those in and retired from service. A source of diversion, of bonding, of a sense of belonging. Sports does it all. Just as does the military.

Where sports (including athletics, working out) is making a heightned difference is for our veterans, young and old, hurt in battle. This past decade has taken a terrible toll in terms of loss of life and those seriously injured. It is devastating to their families and communities and for us as a society. Many of these servicemen and women have lost a limb (or limbs), their eyesight, have had surgeries that allow them to have all of their body parts, sure, but with limited mobility. What is being done for them, especially on the other 364 days that are not Veteran’s Day?

While there are many instances of organizations recognizing veterans by providing free tickets to events, acknowledging at the event, etc. – and such recognition is great – these are moments that are somewhat fleeting in nature. For more sustainable effect, especially for those who are injured, we need programs that identify and then stay with those in need, providing the physical and emotional support long-term that is essential to give these individuals back the opportunity to have as much as possible, the life they envision for themselves.

Please revisit some of our pieces which highlighted such efforts. And we encourage you to seek out others in your community to help these great members of our society. (A good place to visit is the website for the organization Disabled American Veterans)

Thank you today and everyday to those who serve and who support them.

Bridging the Gap

Veterans’ Day – Heroes and the love of sports

Ed Nicholson – Navy Capt. Ed Nicholson started Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing to help rehabilitate wounded service members and veterans. Since 2005, his program has grown to more than 50 locations nationwide.