Pause, Reflect, Honor

Brothers and Sisters, 
Each year on November 11, Americans set aside 24 hours to pause, reflect, and honor our nation’s veterans. But to those of us who wore the uniform, every day is Veterans Day. We are constantly flooded with thoughts and memories from places we served and the comrades who stood beside us. Yes, we remember. We remember what we went through. We remember what we were able to accomplish. We remember the good times. We remember the bad times. We remember it all.
To all of our military service men and women, whether active, retired, deployed or at home, you have our utmost respect, admiration and appreciation.  Few will truly realize what an incredible sacrifice you and your family made or making for so many others.  For all that you gave, for all that you did and saw, and for those who continue to do in support of our country and our freedom, we cannot thank you enough. 
Though it has been said time and again, this nation still continues to owe all Veterans more than gratitude; this nation owes you everlasting care and consideration for your sacrifices.  For our part, we thank you, and your families, for your willingness to give a part of your life and be away from your loved ones in trying to keep others safe.
But Veterans Day has to be about much more than remembering the past. It is also an opportunity to come together as veterans and decide what kind of future we want to build for ourselves and the nation we risked our lives for. 
When we went to war, we went together we trained together, we fought together. And except for our fallen or severely wounded comrades, we came home together. For as long as there have been wars, young men and women have been asked to leave their jobs, leave their families, pick up arms and go fight. And nearly always those who do the fighting have come from the working class. Yes, the working class and the veteran class are on in the same.  
When we are abroad, were called heroes. When we came home, we were met with yellow ribbons and assured by politicians of all stripes that our service would not be in vain, that our sacrifices would be honored, and that our country would have our backs.  
What has come of those promises? Now that the parades are over, now that war doesn’t warrant a mention on the nightly news, how are we, the veteran class, faring? Well….
Statistics show veterans’ unemployment is going down.  But the number of veterans in line at food banks is going up. In other words, many veterans are being forced to live on poverty wages. We have politicians wanting to destroy and privatize our health care system and allow their billionaire friends to profit off the care of veterans
Simply put: Now that they’re finished with us, we’re under attack. And we should not stand for it. 
We can organize and again come together as we once did not divided by the stoked flames of prejudice and bigotry, not quarreling over questions of Democrat and Republican. But together as sisters and brothers and together as the veteran class.
We can organize to fight a new war, our war: a war for our voice, our dignity and our future; a war against greed and against suffering. We can do this. But only if we organize. And when we do organize, then not only will we fight together, well also win together.
With greatest respect,
Your Union family and NFFE Veterans Committee