For most of us, Veterans Day brings parades and one-day sales. However, more than 5.5 million Americans spend every day honoring a veteran by providing hands-on emotional and physical care.
This salute is extremely late. I don’t mean late for Memorial Day or even Black History Month. I mean this salute — to black soldiers who fought in the Civil War — is more than 150 years late. But so was America’s salute.
On a cold March night in 2007, Jeff Brodeur got the phone call that changed his life. His son, Army Pvt. Vincent Mannion-Brodeur, 19, had been searching a structure near Tikrit, Iraq, when a mortar-shell booby trap exploded. His sergeant was killed instantly and Mannion-Brodeur suffered a devastating head injury as well as deep shrapnel wounds to his arm and torso. Jeff and his wife, Maura, sitting stunned in their Cape Cod, Mass., home, were told that their son might not live.
Elizabeth Dole has received the 2014 Ethel Percy Andrus Award, AARP’s highest honor, for her support of military family caregivers. The leader of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and former U.S. senator, Cabinet member and president of the American Red Cross accepted the award at a dinner March 11 in Washington.
As the holidays draw near, volunteers with a heart for military veterans are gearing up for a special salute — National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 13.
As my dad’s memories fade due to Alzheimer’s disease, the list of things that still stick with him gets increasingly shorter. My mom’s name is frequently on his lips, even though she passed on a year ago. His service dog, Mr. Jackson, is still his key companion and, even when he can’t remember his name, he looks for “the dog.” And he still knows the 10th Mountain Division, with whom he served in World War II as they drove the Nazis and Mussolini out of Italy. Being a veteran is one of the few things that Dad still identifies with.
When Chester Nez attended boarding school in the 1930s, he risked having his mouth washed out with soap if he spoke in Navajo instead of English. But fortunately for America's fortunes during World War II, he never forgot the language of his people.
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