Thursday is Veterans Day and, again, we should all remember to honor the men and women who have served and are serving in the Armed Forces.
President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919. It later became Veterans Day in 1954 and is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in honor of all our veterans.
It is comforting to know we have men and women willing to serve their country. Like so many other mothers, I am proud of my son, who is in the U.S. Air Force. He has been in the service for over 20 years. I know it has not always been easy on him or his family.
My husband is an Army veteran and had just returned from a tour in Vietnam when we married.
I have to commend the committee members who worked to make the Buffalo Island Veterans Park a reality in Leachville. It is really a wonderful tribute to the area veterans and I know it took a lot of hours and hard work to make it happen. It is something we can all be proud of. It is a beautiful tribute to men and women for their service.
The majority of us will never know what it is like to be in a war zone, but when our young men and women volunteer and join the military, they are committing to go if and when they are needed.
At one time we had the draft and most answered the call when they were called up. It was around 1973 when the draft ended and our military became an all volunteer military again. I can remember many people who said we would not be able to keep enough numbers for an all volunteer military. We have been able to do so and, as a matter of fact, a few years ago numbers were being cut back.
We have heard a lot lately about the medical treatment and benefits for our military coming home injured, and I hope our country will not get slack again on their care. I can understand sometimes when services have to be trimmed back a little, but it should not happen at the expense of meeting the needs of those who went into combat for the rest of us.
We have our own 875th Engineer Battalion of the Arkansas Army National Guard returning last week from a tour in Afghanistan. They were mobilized a year ago, and we can all share in their celebration of homecoming.
Most of the veterans I have interviewed or talked to through the years are quick to play down their hero role and quick to give praise to their fellow servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
All veterans deserve our respect and our gratitude for their service. If you know a veteran, don't forget to thank him/her. We may have different views on the conflicts (past and present), but we should share the pride in our veterans and military personnel. They are some of the best we have.