Honor those who served long after tours of duty

Veterans Day observances traditionally honor all who have served in the U.S. military. Memorial Day is designated as a day of remembrance for those in our military who have died while defending this great nation during time of war.

And while we honor all of those great men and women, there is another special group that we don’t hear enough about. These are the veterans who have died for this country long after they stopped wearing their military uniforms. While their service obligations may have expired, their love of country endured.

We must honor all of their families with compassionate hearts. Sometimes all that is needed is a simple “thank you” directed at the veteran or the family member for his or her sacrifice.

While fewer than 10 percent of Americans can claim the honorable title “U.S. military veteran,” this special group often provides the vital services that enable our communities to function.

When an emergency hits, there is a good chance that it is a veteran who is first to respond.  Whether it’s a school teacher, construction worker or first responder, military veterans take their missions seriously.

God Bless our veterans and God Bless America. — Mike Beyer, commander,  Elk River American Legion Post 112