Every day, we wake up to the gift of freedom because of the men and women who wore the uniform – that stood guard and protected us. They are the greatest icon of the American spirit.
Their love for this country was so strong, they signed a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of “up to and including their life.” They left home and family having no idea where their mission would take them – living in flawed conditions. They gave everything they had to our country for the entire length of their service. They pushed themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to be able to serve.
Veterans of all ages have greatly contributed to the future of this country. November provides us all a great opportunity to honor and recognize the unique sacrifices that they and their family members made.
On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and throughout the month of November, we celebrate those who have honored our country with their service and sacrifice. Our courageous men and women in uniform have earned our enduring respect and gratitude.
November is also National Military Family Month, National Family Caregivers Month, and Warrior Care Month. With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed overseas, recognizing the daily sacrifices made by them and their families has never been more important.
My challenge to you is simple – let us dedicate November to honor these special heroes. There are so many ways to say thank you – write a note of thanks, thank them publicly on social media, offer workplace flexibility, provide job opportunities, perform a random act of kindness or donate to a charity on their behalf. Our character as a Nation is revealed through the honor we accord them and measured by the respect with which we care for them.
Let us resolve never to stop trying to build that better world for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed. Let us all draw strength from their long legacy of service.
Greg Whitlock, Secretary
South Dakota Department of V eterans Affairs