Veterans deserve respect

With Veterans Day behind us, it’s important not to forget the men and women who have volunteered to protect and serve the country.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently 892,221 veterans in New York alone. According to the VA, there are about just over 20 million veterans in the country.

However, there is only one day of the year where people actually stop and thank veterans. Oswego does not even hold a parade.

Every day is a day to thank a veteran, not just the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Individuals in the armed forces don’t only defend our freedom one day of the year. People should stop to thank veterans regardless of what day it is; it’s the very least they can do.

In 2009 an initiative to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 was announced by President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. The 2014 Point-in-Time count by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed that on a single night in January there were approximately 49,933 homeless veterans. This is not the only issue the brave men and women who fought for our country face.

Problems have plagued the VA hospital system and have been recently brought to light. Veterans are claiming that it takes months to see a doctor and even then they may have to wait even longer once being sent to a different doctor.

These are issues veterans should not be facing. Those who put their lives on the line to defend our constitutional rights should not be left with nowhere to call home, nor should they lack proper medical treatment.

Next time you see a veteran, no matter what day it is, take the time to thank them for their service to this country.