At one point in my life while living in Oregon I worked for the county in the Department of Veteran Affairs. We helped file claims, retrieve DD 214’s (discharge papers) and metals and assist veterans in many other ways. It was one of my favorite jobs ever till I had to suddenly leave Oregon and quit working there! Oh, the stories I have heard and the respect I gained for these Men (an their families). We would have Veterans come in who were displaced after war with no real address to come home to and never saw their earned metals and honors. We were ordering their metals to be sent and at one point decided that just having them pop in and us handing a box over the counter was not proper and so we were approved to offer ceremonies. We did a few before I had to leave. We would invite city/county officials, have a flag and allow them to bring family and would honor and allow them to speak as they received their metals. We were so honored -the 3 of us gals who worked to allow this for them!
I was reading an article I came across today as I was learning of the story of Ty Carter, a Spokane soldier who is awarded by President Obama today with the Medal of Honor. He is only the 5th LIVING recipient to be given this honor. Typically the Medal of Honor would have been earned for such acts where a soldier’s life was lost to save other soldiers. Carter’s actions saved his soldiers as he risked his life entering into the line of fire to deliver ammo and delivered first aid to an injured soldier in an episode that lasted over 6 hours! There are so many stories like his and they return home and slip back into our society and forgotten about by many! As I read his story, I remembered some amazing Men I had met so many years ago and wanted to share this.
Here is a photo of one of our medal ceremonies and some facts about our Veterans today…
- There are 5 states that are home to over 1 million Veterans each…CA, FL, TX, NY and PA
- 1/3 of our adult homeless population are Veterans
- There are over 9 million Veterans over the age of 69 right now
- Homelessness & Unemployment among Veterans are most due to PTSD diagnosis
- An estimated 50% of war veterans from todays wars will come home suffering from some sort of war-related effects and will file compensation