Today is Veterans Day across the United States, a day which normally would include flag-raisings, parades, and other forms of homage, a time to honor veterans who have served in all wars and to thank those who still live among us today.
During the current pandemic, the annual Veterans Day Parade, sponsored by the local American Legion Post 558, was canceled this year but another project took place in which 70 U.S. flags and poles were purchased by the public honoring veterans with a plaque containing their name and branch of service. The flags were installed Tuesday by members of Post 558 along Ga. Highway 30 West, from the Post home on 30 all the way to U.S, Highway 19 in Americus. The flags will fly all day today, Wednesday, Nov. 11, before being removed. Proceeds from the project will go toward helping local veterans in need.
We congratulate Post 558 for coming up with this project and for making it happen. And we also thank every member of Post 558 for their service to our nation.
When the veterans of Vietnam returned to the states after the U.S. pulled out, inn the mid-1970s, they were sorely mistreated, some being cursed at and spit upon for their service. They were called “baby killers” and due to this animosity, had an especially difficult time readjusting to civilian life after witnessing the horrors of was in a jungle thousands of miles from home. Most were drafted into service, and stepped up to perform their duty. Some came home; others came home in body bags. Some returned home minus limbs and others came home, seemingly intact but bearing unseen scars which ultimately left a path of slow destruction by means of drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, mental illness, or in some cases, sudden death by suicide.
Since that time, much as been learned about post-traumatic stress disorder, and how to treat it. If only there had been help available in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, an entire generation could have been spared what they went through, and still suffer.
If you see a veteran today, please take the time to stop, shake his/her hand, and thank them for their service. There are still a few World War II veterans around, as well as those who served in Korea, Vietnam, we well as the conflicts in the Middle East. Some are still serving.
While no one loves war, we should have love and support for the warriors and for the sacrifices they made to help keep us free,
Thank you to all our local veterans. We stand behind you. You are all appreciated.