Commentary

November 7, 2012

Every day is Veterans Day

When people think of veterans, they often think of warriors, but Hurricane Sandy offers just the latest reminder of the significant humanitarian and often times life-saving work performed by our veterans on a daily basis.

As Sandy was still wreaking devastation on the East Coast, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members mobilized on the opposite coast – at March Air Reserve Base in California to trek nearly 3,000 miles to assist their fellow Americans.

The Navy sent large-deck amphibious ships off the shores of New York and New Jersey, where Marines, soldiers and Coast Guardsmen were busy rescuing storm victims, rebuilding ravaged areas and providing food and fuel.

Memorial Day is appropriately set aside to honor our fallen war veterans – those who made the supreme sacrifice for this great country. Unfortunately, we are unable to personally show our appreciation to these heroes. Veterans Day, however, is intended to honor all of our military veterans, including the nearly 23 million living men and women that are still among us.

Sometimes all that is needed is a simple ‘thank you’ directed at the veteran or the family member for his or her sacrifice.

Part of that sacrifice too often includes unemployment or underemployment when the veteran’s military service is over.

Companies should understand that it’s smart business to hire veterans, and when members of the Guard and Reserves deploy, it is America’s business to ensure that their civilian careers do not suffer.

We must not forget the unique health care needs of women veterans. There are more than 1.2 million women in America today who have worn the uniform. Women play a pivotal role in our mission in Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs must adequately treat breast and cervical cancer as well as trauma that may have resulted from domestic violence, sexual harassment and assault.

We must always remember those veterans who have given their lives for us long after they stopped wearing their military uniforms. While their service obligations may have expired, their love of country endured. Chances are that if you surveyed your local police or fire department, you would find that a disproportionately high amount of its members are veterans.

Men like Navy veteran and Boston firefighter Paul J. Cahill, who sacrificed his life when a restaurant roof collapsed while he was fighting a fire in West Roxbury Aug. 29, 2007.

Or Washington State Trooper and U.S. Army veteran Tony Radulescu who was killed Feb. 23, 2012 when he was shot during a traffic stop in Kitsap County.

When an emergency hits, there is a good chance that it is a veteran that is first to respond. Whether it’s a school teacher, construction worker or first responder, military veterans take their missions seriously.

On Sept 12 of this year – 11 years and one day after the worst terrorist attack ever inflicted on American soil – two Navy SEAL veterans made the supreme sacrifice while protecting their fellow Americans who were under attack at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi,, Libya.

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods knew the meaning of service. In an open letter to Glenn Doherty, SEAL Team 3 Comrade Brandon Webb wrote in The New York Times:

“I still can’t believe you punched out early on me, but glad to hear from the guys that you fought like a hero – no surprise there … You should know your efforts resulted in the rescue of over 20 Department of State personnel. They are alive today because of yours and Ty’s heroic action.”

Tyrone Woods was described by his mother as a “stellar SEAL who thrived on adrenaline, excitement and danger.”

In addition to his grieving mother, Ty is survived by his wife, an infant daughter, two teenage sons and countless friends.

And it’s important to remember not only the price that is paid by so many veterans to maintain our freedom – but the price paid by their heartbroken families as well.

Journalist Abigail Pesta, who is the sister of Glen Doherty, wrote, “Today we held his funeral in his hometown of Winchester. During the procession from the funeral home to the church, the streets were lined with hundreds of people. Schools were let out; there were bands playing … People were holding signs. We have seen such a show of support – from both the town that we grew up in and the nation that we live in. We feel so much love.”

Scenes similar to what occurred in Winchester, Mass., have taken place in many other cities and towns across America. We revere these heroes because they revered us – their families, their neighbors, their fellow citizens. A country is only as good as the people in it. And a land that could produce such heroes is truly a land worth serving.

While fewer than 10 percent of Americans can claim the honorable title “U.S. military veteran,” this special group often provides the vital services that enable our communities to function.

We must heed the words of our first commander in chief, Gen. George Washington who said in 1798, “The willingness with which our young people will fight in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.”

Born of their extraordinary accomplishments comes our extraordinary debt. And for those accomplishments and for their dedication, we must always be grateful.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




One Comment


  1. […] Day Is Veterans Day. Aerotech News And […]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>