(NewsNation) — Today is Veterans Day, and that’s when most people post and say they support their troops.
Do we really mean it?
We send men and women away to horrible fates, especially in the last 20 years. And we say we support the troops, and yet we don’t.
We don’t do enough for them given what they do for us. We are counting votes right now, thanks to a process that is secured by the security we have here thanks to veterans and active troops.
So we owe them, but do we make their transition back here easy? Their ability to get loans, start businesses, buy homes.
Is the G-I Bill what it was meant to be? They certainly don’t get near the preparation to come home that they do to go to war.
Too often, there is little direction and few opportunities because they are told by potential employers that their skills are non-transferable.
And this is about all those who come back ready to get back to life, and that is the majority.
But there are many, too many, who are struggling with all kinds of health problems, in the mind and body. We do more to shame them and label all veterans as damaged than we do to help those ones who actually are.
Is their healthcare? On any given night, 40,000 veterans are homeless in America. That’s 800 per state, every single night.
Yet, the VA admitted last year that it is lagging behind its goals to help them. Why was the Burn Pits legislation not a no-brainer? Why is suicide for those in and out of service at such high rates?
Last year, research found 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans who served post-9/11 died by suicide.
That is four times higher than service members killed in combat during those two decades.
Why are some susceptible to extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters? We owe the people who secure our future to do the same for them.
Sure, say the right thing today… But what about the other 364 days? Because we say it on Memorial Day too, right? We need to show we care.
And I owe these people more than most.
After 9/11, I joined the ranks of reporters who went to watch and embed with our fighting men and women. We were reporting on how USMP’s were trying to help locals instill law and order, and we were hit by an IED.
I thought, for sure, the screaming I heard and all the gunfire was us getting done dirty and that me and my producer Bart were done for. Bart and I are together again here at NewsNation coincidentally.
Anyway, I was dead wrong. The troops were taking out bad guys and securing the perimeter. There were injuries, but all went home. I was amazed by the calm… I could not shake how these young men and women showed such poise.
I got a message from the leader soon after that. They went back to the same place the next day and got hit again.
And they kept going, and made it safe for the locals, because that was what they were about.
They secured my life, and that wasn’t the only time. And I owe them.
So I don’t just say it. I cover it, and I make sure to stay on it.