On Veteran’s Day, we celebrate and honor all those alive who have served our country honorably. We recognize Memorial Day as the time to pay our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We owe a great debt to these true American heroes who have given us our freedom.
We would be remiss if we didn’t at least refer to those in the military who paid the ultimate sacrifice. During the Revolutionary War, the population of the colonies was 2.5 million. The total casualties of the war for independence were 25,000 souls of which 8,000 were killed. Imagine what 1% of our total military forces would represent today. That number would be 1.9 million men and women, which would mean every active member of our military (less the Coast Guard) as of July 1, 2020, would be a casualty.
Our servicemen and women have paid a huge price for our country. November 11 was the day World War I ended and was originally referred to as Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution declaring November 11 as Veteran’s Day. In 1938 it was declared a national holiday.
How do we honor those brave men and women who have served and have retired? We should be mindful of the struggles they face after they are separated, discharged, or retire from the military.
We should invest in programs to ensure they have the necessary education to compete in the civilian workplace. We should ensure the medical care they receive at Veteran’s Hospitals is the best available. The ongoing research of treatment for PTSD should be accelerated, and all 172 Veteran’s Hospitals should provide the latest treatments available for this dreaded affliction.
Corporations and businesses of all types should be encouraged to hire veterans, and where possible establish training programs to make them proficient in their line of work. Our industry can become a model for helping these young men and women who have left the military and are seeking an opportunity to lead a fruitful and productive civilian life.
Based upon my own experiences, the people employed in the imaging industry are respectful of our veterans and we believe would like to help. Perhaps we can ask independent dealer groups such as American Coop, BTA, BPCA, CDA, ICDA, and others to consider a veterans’ assistance program for their businesses. We understand that is under discussion at BTA and we encourage them to promote that activity as quickly as they can.
We recognize that this is not the best time to ask those in our industry who are suffering the ravages to our economy caused by COVID-19 to make the effort to help others. To some degree, we are all feeling the oppressive measures we must take to ensure our survival.
In my experience, there are times I just stare at my computer screen and wonder when in God’s name is this going to end? We meet, discuss, and interview guest subjects through the impersonal means of Zoom, Skype, and Teams. It has become a very impersonal world.
My parents taught us to be mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves. One reason was to teach us not to complain about what you do not have but rather be thankful for what you do have.
That is one reason we engage in charitable fundraising and veterans’ causes. It is a privilege to help those in need even as we experience some degree of discomfort.
Celebrate November 11 and look for a way to help a veteran or support a veteran’s organization. As soon as we complete our current efforts to help frontline health care workers, we are zeroing in on identifying opportunities in our industry for veterans.
We know that this is something you will all readily support.
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