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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remember Veteran's Day

As of last year, the total population of the United States is 313,232,044. Including active duty, national guard and reserves, the number of Americans in uniform is 2,936,396, which means that 2 wars and dozens of other operations worldwide--including helping in the Hurricane Sandy rescue operations, are being carried out by only about 1 percent of the country's population. And while only a single percent of the country's population is currently serving, 7 percent of our population are veterans. There are 22,658,000 veterans in America today.

The last remaining US veteran of WW1 was Frank Buckles, and he died in 2011 at 110 years old. As of September 30, 2011, there are about 1,981,000 living veterans of World War II, a war that more than 4 million Americans were deployed to fight. About 800 of those veterans die every day.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veteran's Day honors all those who served, alive or dead, whether they saw combat or not. It is these men and women who sacrificed years of their lives to serve their country. Who endured wars and loneliness and separation from family when all their peers were going to college and parties and PTA meetings. Many have returned with physical scars and many more with psychological ones. And today, they face an additional problem; facing higher rates of unemployment than the general population. We owe these brave men and women not just a brief thought once a year but, in the words of President Obama: "It's about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It's about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they've earned when they come home. It's about serving all of our veterans as well as they've served the United States of America." 
~David Siller