www.herald-journal.com
Those who protect us
November 8, 2010
by Jenni Sebora

I know of few sacrifices made that are greater than the sacrifices of our men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Did you know that there are about 24 million veterans in the United States, and about 400,000 in Minnesota?

We will all be fortunate enough to celebrate Veterans Day and remember the veterans who served our country Thursday, Nov. 11. Along with this will be programs in schools to help commemorate the day. But in addition to this, we can discuss with our children at home what Veterans Day is all about.

A great place to start is to talk about just what a veteran is. This, in itself, is not an easy concept to explain to a young person, but perhaps the essential concept to get across is that veterans are men and women who were willing to protect our country from people that might want to hurt our country and the people in it.

Perhaps you have a veteran in the family. What better way is there to learn about what being a veteran is than to have your child talk to that person to learn about the sacrifices that the veteran had to make by giving up years of their life to serve their country.

What did they do in the military? What family events were missed? What was going on in the country at the time? How did the veteran complete their education or get back into the work force? How did the veteran feel upon getting back home?

If there is no veteran in the family, talk to your child about what military service might be like. What would a person feel when they were away from home in foreign country in a time of war? What things would they miss about being home? What would they most like when they got back?

Talk about the Veterans Day program your child attended at school. What took place? Who were the speakers? What did they talk about? Talking about these things can help to explain what veterans have done and why they should be held in such high regard.

Let your child know that there are still over one-and-a -half million men and women currently serving in our country and in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world to protect us. You may even wish to contact a person in active military service to let them know you appreciate them.

The following are some links for you to contact military personnel to show your support: www.amillionthanks.org, www.letssaythanks.com, and www.ourmilitary.mil.

This Veterans Day, take time to say thank you to a veteran.