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Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, marked Veterans Day, a day we Americans observe to thank our service members.
The VFW holds a ceremony each year at either a cemetery or the monument at Reeves Park.
Lately, I’ve had the chance to talk to local veterans Bob Gautreau and Bob Wislowski about their service to our country and their time being treated at the Valley Forge General Hospital. I am so thankful that they took the time to share their stories with me. It’s amazing to hear veterans’ stories about the good things and bad things they experienced during their service. It always makes me think about how good we civilians have it that we didn’t have to see the horrible things that war brings nor did we have to be in the line of fire.
I’m not into the sport of football, but during the beginning of the game my husband was watching on Sunday, I enjoyed watching men in uniform singing the National Anthem and holding an American flag that took up the whole football field.
During my time as a journalist, I’ve done many interviews with veterans as well as their spouses. I have attended a homecoming of a service member before, but I haven’t had the chance to cover a story in which a whole unit of service members come home and are reunited with families. I see those kind of homecomings on the news and it warms my heart. I don’t even want to imagine how hard it is for families to be separated for a year or more. It must be even harder for the fathers who are deployed and don’t get to be present for the births of their children.
One of my friends is married to someone that serves in the Navy. Soon he will be on ship for about 10 months. That is a long time to be away from your husband.
While it’s important to honor our veterans locally with parades or ceremonies, it’s still important for our country to take care of service members who have sacrificed so much for us. Many service members come back with post traumatic stress disorder or debilitating injuries. We need to make sure they are getting the help they need especially when they have families. Veterans also need help with transitioning into civilian life and getting jobs in this economy. I hope that our legislators are fighting for the needs of veterans as service members are fighting for our freedoms.
If you enjoy reading about veterans, log onto our website, www.phoenixvillenews.com. On the right side of the page is a segment called American Homecomings. Here you will find various stories about veterans and their struggles in life.