Letter from Don McLean, AMVETS National Commander
Since the founding of our country, many millions of men and women have served in the United States military.
Veterans and Military Families Month is a celebration of those women and men: the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters all over the country and in all of our lives who have served or are serving. It also serves to honor the millions of families who care for our nation’s heroes.
And yet, on every Veterans and Military Families Month, we cannot help but solemnly remember the fallen, as well as our prisoners of war and missing in action.
At AMVETS National Headquarters, our national observance of Veterans Day is always held at Arlington National Cemetery, among the graves of many thousands of our veterans, some who lived long into old age, and some just teenagers who gave their lives on the battlefield. It is not recognized as solely a day for those in our nation’s capital, but a week-long tribute filled with observances, celebrations, and homecoming.
Not every veteran has been exposed to the crucible of combat, but veterans of any and all eras will tell you that their time in uniform was one of the most important in shaping their lives.
They’ll credit their time in the military with instilling in them virtues such as discipline and loyalty that have been a part of their character ever since. They’ll talk about a bond that joins all of them, from all branches of service, together.
In so many ways, our veterans have shaped the lives we live today as well as the world in which we live them. For that, we honor them. We honor them by remembering their accomplishments and sacrifices. These accomplishments and sacrifices led to the formation of this country, the protection of our freedom, the liberation of those oppressed, and aid to those with outstretched arms.
We honor them for what they continue to do for their fellow veterans and their communities. For many, service doesn’t stop when the uniform comes off. We are there, feeding and clothing those in need, educating our youth on American heritage, and more.
Finally, this Veterans and Military Families month we display heartfelt joy and appreciation for their role in our lives, and for the pride our country feels for them on a month we set aside just for them.