From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy:
As we know, this month we celebrate Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. At this time of the year we give thanks in a special way for the many blessings and privileges we enjoy as Americans. We also give thanks for our many freedoms. As we reflect on these freedoms, we should also remember our men and women who served in the military and who sacrificed so much to make these freedoms possible thorough their dedicated commitment to our country. Many of our veterans served in Viet Nam or in other foreign lands, or here in the United States. Many others have recently returned home from their tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and have left active military service.
According to government statistics, there are more than twenty million military veterans in the United States. Most of us have loved ones, friends, or neighbors who have served our country well and now have veteran status. Whether our veterans served at home or abroad, we should not allow their service to be ignored or minimized, or their sacrifice taken for granted. Those who have recently left active military service are returning to a nation whose economic situation is still questionable. They may have problems entering the work force after discharge. Their family life may be uncertain. Their spiritual or emotional life may be in disarray. They may be struggling with in-service related disabilities such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They may be facing other challenges.
There are many businesses and agencies which are responding to the challenges faced by veterans. For example, some businesses are giving special consideration to veterans when offering jobs and lost cost loans. Our Veterans Administration hospitals and treatment centers are striving to provide appropriate on going care for veterans in need, but this is difficult due to funding, space, and other limitations.
While our veterans may have needs that we cannot meet, they should at least be assured of our gratitude and prayers. We can also reaffirm our commitment to honor, respect, and appreciate them. They deserve nothing less.