Honoring all those who served

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Edgar Brookins, a member of the AFRO Staff and retired from the U.S. Army, shared the importance of Veterans Day in 2020. (Courtesy Photo)

By Edgar Brookins
U.S. Army Retired

As a federal holiday this year, Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11, marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The national theme is: “Vision-Veterans in Focus.”

Veterans have contributed to American society in many ways, not just during their time on active duty. Throughout our history, military service members have put on their uniforms to protect the values and liberties this nation was built on. Veterans take the lessons, skills and experiences they have learned and continue their service to the nation by strengthening our communities.

In his message to the nation, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie said, “It is true that this Veterans Day is somewhat different. As we fight the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not gather as we normally would to honor our nation’s Veterans. But we can still remember and honor them by spending a quiet moment paying homage to their courage and sacrifice.”

Under the Trump administration, the VA has improved the health, welfare and care of our Veterans including Telehealth Access, increased housing for homeless Veterans (4,000 in 2020), Faster Processing of Disability Claims, Increased VA Guarantees for Home Loans for Veterans (totaling more than $368 billions) and support for caregivers. The VA is the largest Integrated Healthcare System in the world serving more nine million Veterans yearly.

Under the new Biden Administration, it is our sincere hope that this trend continues. Our Veterans deserve it and nothing less is acceptable.

So on this 2020 Veterans Day and those coming, you may ask yourself, “what can I do?” The answer is easy: fly the flag, ask someone about their service, go to a veteran’s home to take some food and visit a Veterans’ Memorial.

We want to continually say thanks to those we honor on Nov. 11 and beyond. Veterans Day is one of many opportunities to do just that. Salute!