Veterans Day is often a bittersweet time for Americans. Last year it came before U.S. troops were set to return from Iraq. This year it follows a heated national election that saw the country more divided than ever. Although military issues took a back seat to economic concerns this election, those concerns shared by people throughout the nation were especially important to veterans, many of whom are struggling to find employment and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Though the unemployment rate among veterans is falling, times are still tough for the men and women who have returned home after serving the country overseas. According to the Chicago Tribune, some of the nation’s leading companies are doing something to fix this problem. Boeing has joined three other industrial companies to form a coalition to train veterans in 10 states for advanced manufacturing positions, and JPMorgan Chase helped establish the 100,000 Jobs Mission, whose goal is to hire 100,000 service members worldwide by 2020. And one of the largest corporations in the world, Google, hired former Navy SEAL Harry Wingo as its veteran community programs manager, with the goal of hiring more veterans.
In Palm Beach County, the nationally recognized organization Forgotten Soldiers Outreach sends monthly “we-care” packages to troops serving overseas, with the goal of by “sending that little bit of home, to assure they are not forgotten.” For more information, visit www.forgottensoldiers.org or call (561) 369-2933.
In addition to employment problems, many veterans also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One local charity is making a difference. Warriors4Warriors, founded by Royal Palm Beach resident Sgt. Darrell Langworthy, offers financial assistance to those who need it and helps connect service members or veterans and their family with other possible resources they may need. For more information, visit www.warriors4warriorscharity.com.
Veterans need to know they are not taken for granted, and Veterans Day is the time for everyone to come out and thank them for their service. So this Veterans Day, we ask everyone to do what they can to show their support. In the western communities, you can do so by attending one of the local events:
• Wellington and the American Legion Chris Reyka Memorial Wellington Post 390 will honor Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 11. A parade begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Wellington Municipal Complex, followed by a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial, located at the corner of Forest Hill and South Shore boulevards. For more info., e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Royal Palm Beach will host a Veterans Day Candlelight Service on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Park amphitheater. A flag-raising ceremony will be followed by a motivational presentation. There will be free refreshments and a performance by the Royal Palm Beach Community Band following the ceremony. For more info., visit www.royalpalmbeach.com.