I have several projects in response to the President's call to service. First of all I have, for 13 years, served on Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard teams where I conduct funeral services for our heroes. I do the reading to honor the passing veterans. I have done hundreds and hundreds of funerals, if not thousands at a National Cemetery and private cemeteries in two states.
It consists of finding the appropriate words to pay tribute to someone who has offered his or her life for our great country. It is the greatest honor bestowed upon me. Perhaps there are no adequate words but I try as best as possible.
I am a disabled Vietnam veteran, a retired military veteran with 26 years active service, I am totally disabled from my employment, and I am father of an active duty Green Beret who has served multiple tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I wanted to somehow give back and support our veterans and their families for their service within the limits of my disabilities. I am particularly burdened with the loss of about 75% of my long term memory and virtually have no short term memory that resulted from a problem during heart surgery years ago.
I understand that after military retirement I was a fairly talented computer programmer and webmaster in the civilian market before that occurrence and I have retained some minimal skills, though most have been long forgotten. I attempt to use what skills remaining to help our veterans as best as possible but I must admit it is a difficult chore.
My other work for my fellow veterans involves putting together a bi-monthly, 32 page newsletter to provide our veterans and families with information to assist them in areas ranging from job searches, to filing for disability benefits as a result of military service. I use U.S. government and commercial sources to do so, as I am unable to professionally write articles. Outlets such as the Stars and Stripes Newspaper, Military.com, etc., have provided me near carte blanche access to their stories and information relating to our veterans and families.
Lastly, I maintain a website at http://www.veteranspage.com to support veterans and families to expand the capabilities of my newsletter and raise money for veterans. Ads on the site provide funds of which 100% is sent directly to specific Veterans of Foreign Wars posts to help our veterans. I pay out of my own pocket for the website and related costs.
I wanted to share my story so that others may read and understand that veterans need our help, both past and present. Please consider playing your part in helping those who served our flag. Active involvement with one of the veterans’ organizations is something that must be done to ensure we remember and honor our heroes.
Please volunteer today and answer the call of our President. May God bless you and the greatest country in the world – the United States of America.