Forum, Nov. 11: Celebrate Our Veterans Every Day

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Celebrate Our Veterans Every Day

It is with honor that we as a nation stand together every year on Nov. 11 to recognize the women and men who fought for freedom and for what they believe in.

Our veterans have given us a gift that will keep on giving each day as we are provided the opportunity to grow and flourish in all aspects of life. So why is it that we celebrate our veterans just one day a year? Challenge yourself to acknowledge the sacrifices of our armed forces — not only on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, but every day in November. Let’s make November Veteran’s Appreciation Month.

Here at the White River Junction VA Medical Center, and at all community-based outpatient clinics throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, we treat every day as if it were Veterans Day because that is what our veterans have earned and deserve. Take the time to thank a veteran.

Please join us today at 1 p.m. for our annual Veterans Day ceremony in the Yasinski Research and Conference Center (building 44) on our White River Junction campus. The ceremony will start at the Veteran Memorial with the laying of a wreath before proceeding inside.

I know that we are all grateful for those who put their lives on the line for us, so let’s all tell them, “Thank you.”

Dr. Brett Rusch

White River Junction

The writer is the acting director of the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

We’re Honored to Be There for Veterans

As we observe Veterans Day and the contributions of this country’s armed service members, the Good Neighbor Health Clinic would like to call attention to the free dental care offered to veterans by the Red Logan Dental Clinic (which operates under the Good Neighbor umbrella).

People who live within a 30-mile radius of White River Junction, are without dental insurance and have a low income are welcome to apply for care. In the past year, the clinic has provided free dentistry, consisting of comprehensive exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions, single crowns, root canals and dentures, to 54 veterans. In all, the Red Logan Dental Clinic provides nearly $700,000 worth of free dentistry to residents of the Upper Valley.

The number of veterans receiving free care at the Red Logan Dental Clinic has doubled over the past year. The Veterans Affairs Department offers dental coverage to only a portion of the veterans who get medical care at the VA; other veterans, including some with low incomes and in need of dental treatment, look for care in the community. The Red Logan Dental Clinic is honored to be there for them.

Along with our friends, contributors and neighbors, we offer thanks to our veterans.

Dr Don Kollisch

Good Neighbor Board Member

Dr. Robert Alvarenga

Red Logan Dental Director

Dana Michalovic

Good Neighbor Executive Director

A Time to Give Thanks to Our Veterans

Veterans Day is a day to give thanks to all who have served or are now serving in the armed forces, to let them know we appreciate their service, their patriotism, and their willingness to sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted every day.

On Veterans Day, recognize our veterans with a special “Thank you for your service.” A handshake, a pat on the back or a heartfelt greeting will make their day — and yours too. On this day, acknowledge and give a special thanks to our aging World War II, Korean War and Vietnam-era veterans. As with all veterans, they have earned and deserve our thanks and support.

John O’Brien


Just Saying ‘Thank You’ Means a Lot

As I look to another Veterans Day, I realize this is number 50.

I was raised in the Cornish-Meriden area and lived in Meriden when I got the letter (my draft notice). I then enlisted in the Army, was sent to basic training at Fort Dix and advanced training at Fort Leonard Wood. I was then assigned to Vietnam. I did not ask to go. I did not want to go. But I was given orders to go, so I went.

The full reality of what was going on hit me when we were processing. They gave us our clothes, then handed me an M-16 rifle. But then they gave me a handful of bullets. That’s when I knew this was no joke.

My bad memories of Vietnam have gone, but the memories of how we were treated at home I still have. We were called names and had rocks thrown at us. That is why I never talked about Vietnam. When you see any vet, just say “Thank you.” Just two words can brighten someone’s day.

Nate Cass

Cornish Flat

Fighting Those Who Steal Veterans’ Valor

In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court redefined the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, making it legal for people to lie about their military service. As a result, fake heroes, including politicians and political candidates, can claim to be veterans even though they never served. Some pose for pictures in uniform to prove their “service.”

However, the Supreme Court decision only made the lying part legal as constitutionally protected free speech; impersonating a soldier or wearing medals is still a crime.

Ironically, most of these wannabe heroes are the ultimate hypocrites, proudly lying about their military service but then denying that free speech right to anyone they don’t approve of, such as those who kneel in protest of police brutality.

Wannabes are thieves, stealing the valor earned by those who did serve.

An equal crime is those who permit them to get away with it. Veterans Day celebration sponsors who do not confirm the authenticity of participants essentially aid the wannabes’ theft of valor, while veterans who knowingly tolerate wannabes are perilously close to dishonorable conduct themselves.

We who did serve are refusing to look the other way and are acting against those who mock the sacrifices of real veterans. We all have the responsibility to expose them as the thieves they are.

George Mertz