Good morning to you all. We have a bright sunny day today with some wind with a temperature of 46 degrees at 10 a.m. The past two days it was warmer, the thermometer rising to 60 and 58 degrees. I was able to get more work done on my flower beds and am hopeful that the Saturday forecast of 60 degrees or more is right so I can get my bulbs planted. Then I’ll be ready for winter and the upcoming holidays. Meanwhile I’ll continue to enjoy the autumn season.
Some folk say it is dreary outside this time of year, but I still can see beauty out there. You might have to look harder to see since we’ve had several hard frosts, but just outside my door, the mums are still blooming, some of the trees and bushes are adorned with red berries, the yellow leaves on many of our locust trees still wave in the breeze and my autumn sedums wear are dressed in maroon. When I worked on my perennial bed recently I discovered some yellow day lilies were blooming there and there are a few buds on my new dawn roses. Although all of the above will eventually dissipate until another season, I’ll be ready for the beauty the snow brings — the evergreens dressed in white and our winter friends who visit us daily on the back porch. I also have the holidays to look forward to.
Although Veterans Day may not be called a holiday, it is a special day and an important day. It arrives tomorrow and I hope you all take time to think about all the men and women who have served, and still are serving, in the Armed Services protecting our great country and many others over the years. We should honor and support them all for their service to preserve the freedom our forefathers obtained many years ago. Many have paid the supreme sacrifice and others have had medical needs because of injuries received in the line of duty.
Recently I read in the November issue of The American Legion magazine, entitled “Wong: Put America’s Veterans to Work”. It stated in part, that “On Sept. 21, American Legion National Commander Fang Won testified before the House and Senate Veterans’ committees, delivering a range of priorities, including veterans employment, the VA claims backlog, and treatment of PTS and traumatic brain injuries.
“The Legion understands, that tough spending decisions are coming That is why the Legion greatly appreciates the assurances our veterans have been given…that benefits earned by those who’ve served our country in uniform won’t be sacrificed to achieve budget goals.”
Wong also asked Congress to create incentives to promote veteran hiring.
“A soldier who drives a truck through hazardous routes in Iraq can drive a truck to get eggs to market on time in the Midwest,” he said. “A Navy corpsman who saved Marines on the battlefields of Afghanistan has the skills to render emergency aid as an EMT back home. Yet the education, training and experience from military service is not recognized by civilian licensing and certification agencies.”
On the claims backlog, Wong said the VA needs a better way of tracing errors.
“Unfortunately, VA still is using speed as the primary measurement of success,” he said. “But as we all know, when we rush, we make errors. Who pays the price n this instance? I’ll tell you who, the veteran, who may see a claims process go from nine months to five years because of one error.
“The toll of war does not end at discharge,” Wong said. “Those who are disabled, physically or mentally, it is a lifelong engagement.”
Sometimes one wonders how we as Americans can make life easer for our veterans when they are discharged from the service, but don’t know what we can do. I suggest we can check out information in The American Legion magazine, the Internet or other veteran magazines to find out what has been done and what still needs to be done for those who have served their country in the armed services. If you want to read the full text of Commander Wong’s testimony or watch the video, visit www.legion.org/commander.