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Memorial Day – How do you say thank you to vets?


As we head into the first long weekend of the summer, I’m thinking about the disconnect between our collective anticipation of a vacation day and the reason we have that day off.  Memorial Day – a day to plant the tomatoes, go to cookouts, spend a leisurely day with family and friends, shop the retail sales.  The weather here in the Northeast is forecast to be cold and rainy, but we’ll soldier through.

Memorial Day – a day to remember those soldiers who’ve served and those who currently serve our country in the armed forces.  Memorial Day – a day to remember those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country.  My grandfathers, all my uncles, my father and brother all served in the military.  One of my clearest memories of my paternal grandfather was finding him weeping as he read a history of Gallipoli, overwhelmed as  those memories flooded back of an experience he doubted he’d survive. He was a highly decorated combat veteran in WWI, wounded at Gallipoli and the Sommes.  He returned from the war and found work on the Boston Fish Pier, eventually launching his own company.  He was proud of his military service, but prouder still that he was able to return from combat and get on with his life.

On this Memorial Day weekend, by all means thank your family members, friends and neighbors who’ve served.  Take a moment to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy, that few of us have truly had to fight for.  And if you’re in a position to do so, help today’s veterans return to work and get on with their lives.  Unemployment among veterans who’ve served since 9/11 was reported at 9.9% for 2012 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics vs. 8.1% for the overall population. The US Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service site has job search resources veterans and  for employers who’d like to hire them.

What’s your organization doing to support veterans?

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