A Veterans Day Message From the Desk of NFFE National President William R. Dougan
Veteran’s Day is a day of remembrance to honor America’s veterans, living and dead, for their sacrifice in serving their country. It provides an opportunity for us to remember and honor the sacrifices our veterans have made in defending our country and protecting the rights and privileges we all continue to enjoy. The debt owed every man and woman who has served their country can never be repaid in full. Their stories and history are woven into the rich and diverse tapestry that defines who we are as a people and a nation. Throughout our proud history as a country, when the times and circumstances demanded that we defend our rights and our freedom or fight for the rights and freedom of our brothers and sisters across the globe, they were there to step up and answer the call.
This Veteran’s Day is particularly meaningful for me. I had an opportunity to reunite with an old friend from high school earlier this year. He informed me his son had enlisted in the Marines about 7 years ago and was preparing to go to Afghanistan. Carl was so proud of his son’s accomplishments; he had risen to the rank of 1st Lt. I received an email from Cameron once he arrived in Afghanistan, asking me to write him so he could stay connected to what was going on in the United States. Just a few weeks ago I received an email from Carl, informing me that Cameron had been badly wounded by an IED while leading his platoon on patrol his third week in country. Three men were killed, and Cameron lost a leg, lost an eye, lost two fingers on one hand, and received a chest wound. The life of this 26 year old young man was forever changed, and he now faces a long road of rehabilitation. His is the face I see when I think about this Veteran’s Day and think about the debt we owe all of our men and women who serve to protect us every day.
Many of our union brothers and sisters have served in the military and some have been called up to serve in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please keep all of the men and women in uniform in your thoughts and prayers that they may return home safe and unharmed, wherever they may be serving in the world. As President of this great union, I am committed to ensuring that we do all we can to help our returning veterans transition back into the workforce and their communities. We will continue to support improving healthcare and other benefits for all veterans. We will continue to ensure that veterans are afforded their hiring preferences for federal jobs and are not discriminated against for employment. And we will be there to welcome them back to our union and our communities.
I personally thank each of our veterans for their service to our country. They are the unsung heroes and the true patriots. God bless each of you for your service to our great nation, and may you all return safely to your families and loved ones.