Are we doing enough?
Randy Brenneman (VP)
Sunday March 04, 2018 10:50 am
As Riders, we have done a great job in remembering and honoring the veterans from past conflicts, but are we doing all that we can for the current generation of Veterans?
In the Constitution of the American Legion, the last of the two purposes of the Legion say “to cement the ties and comradeship born of service; and to consecrate the efforts of its members to mutual helpfulness and service to their country.”
We all are aware that when the Vietnam War ended 43 years ago, veterans were not welcomed home or given the support they needed. Since then we have vowed “Never Again” would we allow veterans to return home from our nations conflicts without welcoming them home, and doing everything we can to help them adjust back into civilian life.
Flash-forward to now, and we have vets who have returned (and are still returning) home from combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Because of the type of urban warfare and advances in battlefield medical and trauma care, we are seeing these veterans returning home with physical and mental wounds that were seldom seen in past conflicts. Double, triple and even quadruple amputees have become less rare. And Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD are savaging our returning troops.
We cannot forget what previous veterans went through when they returned home, and we must vow to do more for these returning veterans! We need to spend more time and effort to focus on providing help and support for these veterans!
We need to find out what it is they want and need from the Legion. We need to make sure our Posts and Chapters are providing them what they are looking for. We need to be willing to do the hard and unglamorous work to help them be able to return to a normal civilian life. Do not let our current generation of veterans experience the lack of support our Vietnam era veterans did.
I challenge each Chapter/District to find a way to help our returning veterans, or veterans in need, and create a minimum of two events per year to provide support to this generation’s warriors who need our help the most.