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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Columns

Take action to properly thank veterans


No, I don’t mean to literally stop thanking veterans for their service. Try thanking a veteran with actions instead of with words.

This Veterans Day, you should consider volunteering, donating money or even your time to a veteran that desperately needs help but seldom asks for any.

Veterans Day can be an opportunity to  do something completely selfless. World War II veterans are almost gone from this earth while Korea and Vietnam veterans are getting older.

I implore you to seek out someone, anyone, and let them tell you their story. I promise you that you will laugh, cry and be so grateful you gave some of the bravest men and women our country has ever seen the time of day.

They deserve it so much more than you know.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans all over this country are dealing with knowing nothing but war after years of deployment after deployment. Some men and women deployed seven, eight and even nine times while the rest of the world zoomed by one day at a time.

We also have young soldiers who suffer in silence with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and countless mental health issues. These soldiers came home too late and after too long a time because they bravely volunteered to fight in an avoidable war.

Many Iraq war veterans are now homeless, joining thousands of Vietnam veterans that have found life on the streets acceptable. These people need your help more than I need your thank you.

A free meal at Applebees will feed a veteran once, but time spent with one can keep their soul full for a long time. This particularly applies to many homeless veterans who have no one else to turn to. They are more alone in this world than you and I could ever imagine.

Give them hope for a brighter tomorrow by seeking them out and letting them know they matter. Show them alternatives to their life through community programs and friendship.

These veterans are too young to live the rest of their lives on the street.

Here are easy ways to help directly:

— Volunteer at Houston’s VA hospital
— Volunteer to help veterans with daily tasks at Fisher House.
— Tell veterans about Operation Homefront, which is one of the best programs in the country that helps with bills, food and even gives mortgage-free homes to veterans.
— Go to a homeless shelter, donate to the United Service Organizations, and just get out there and do something.

Please, find a way to thank a veteran today by doing more than just thanking them. It will probably cost you less than you think and will go a long way in benefiting humanity and your ego.

Most importantly, don’t think that saying thank you to a few veterans is good enough today. It’s not.

Opinion editor Frank Campos is a media production senior and can be reached at [email protected]

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