If you have a chance today, thank a veteran

Officially declared a legal holiday by the U.S Congress in 1938, Veterans Day has become a time to honor those that honorably served their country in the U.S. military.

Today, all across this country we will throw parades for our veterans, hand out flags, proclaim our support for our troops in every way possible.

But today is a day we should not just say “thank you” to our military veterans. Today is a day when we should all reflect on the sacrifices they have made, and to consider how best to help them now that they are back home.

There are a number of non-profit organizations that help these brave men and women return back to civilian life, such as the Wounded Warriors Project and on a more local scale, the Warrior Relief Fund, which helps support military members in Marquette County.

And with more than two million soldiers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or both since the start of the Iraq War more than 10 years ago, there are so many veterans that could use our help now.

We can think of no better way to honor their service than by volunteering our time to help those who sacrificed so much to keep us safe.

The D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette and the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain do this type of service every day so no one who has worn the most honorable of uniforms – that of the U.S. military – is without the care they need.

Both facilities are always looking for volunteer help.

We would encourage every area resident to stop by either of these facilities to visit with our local veterans. Hear their stories. Thank them for their service.

For those of us that they have protected – and continue to protect – through their military service, it is the very least we can do.