Boy & Cub Scouts Place Flags at Decatur Cemetery for Veteran’s Day

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Eric writes in…

This morning, Boy Scout troop 175 and Cub Scout pack 175 planted American flags at the graves of all the veterans buried in Decatur Cemetery.
Special thanks to Chick fil-A for providing chicken biscuits, coffee and hot chocolate for the troops.

Veterans Day in Decatur

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Thank the veterans in your life today and have that “thanks” be the complement to all assistance and love you provide them with the rest of the year.

  • Here’s a poem from Siegfried Sassoon.
  • And here’s a post from Decaturish about a discovered letter that details the history of Harold Byrd post in Avondale.

Photo courtesy of Chris

Eye on the Street

Decatur Townsquare Condos, Downtown Decatur, GA (pic submitted by Cheryl)

FYI: This pic was taken on Veteran’s Day

Vets Getting More Attention, But Still Not Enough

Thanks in large part to a renewed energy brought to the office of Veteran’s Affairs by Secretary Eric Shinseki, ill and homeless veterans have more reasons today to hold out hope for a revived and resourceful department than any time in recent memory.

Among Shinseki’s most ambitious goals is the announcement to get all 131,000 homeless vets off the street in just six years.  If nothing else this tangible benchmark signals accepting recognition of the problem – which was strangely lacking in previous administrations – and shows that Shinseki takes the crisis seriously enough to be held publicly accountable for it.

And though things finally seem to be moving in the appropriate direction, the “sprawling” department must still make many great strides in reorganizing and rebranding before any verdict can be made on Shinseki’s tenure as Secretary.  Therefore, I’m reposting my call from Veterans Day 2008, hopeful that our country may finally be on its way to providing the needed care and support our nation’s veterans have long deserved.

Continue reading “Vets Getting More Attention, But Still Not Enough”

Vets Need More Than a Holiday

Every year Veterans Day rolls around and media outlets around the county flood the news space with stories about homeless and ill vets.  With 154,000 veterans living on the streets and only 15,000 transitional housing beds provided by the federal government, news outlets have their pick of stories each year.

Though we often debate the size and competency of government and how much it should “influence” or “interfere” (depending on your position) in our daily lives, I can find few substantive arguments that claim it isn’t our government’s full responsibility to look after the men and women it sends to war upon their return.

But even though the issue seems so cut-and-dry, it is still generally unaddressed.  Even in the midst of two wars, we did little to address the needs of those returning home alive.  It wasn’t until Walter Reed Medical Center was exposed as the nation’s shame two years ago that Congress fully funded the VA and passed the biggest increase in veterans health care in the last 70 years. But we’ve gotta keep going.  This is an issue of national morality that can’t only be bandaged up when things get really bad.

In today’s tough economy, its easy to see how those homeless and ill vets might continue to be overlooked to deal with issues more threatening to the nation’s security.  But this is an issue where we can no longer afford to cut corners.  We must take responsibility for our country’s actions and the undue burden it has placed on a select few, making sure we provide them with the care they deserve.

A day of rememberance should not be the cornerstone of our veteran care policy…a day when we say “we haven’t forgotten you!”.  It should instead be merely a complement to the constant attention and great care that’s already being provided, a day when we recognize and celebrate the service of those that have given so much.