GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

April 12, 2013

Letter: Event raises the bar in aiding our veterans

To the editor:

On Saturday, the United Veterans Council of the City of Gloucester, Congressman John F. Tierney, state Senator Bruce E. Tarr, Mayor Carolyn Kirk, and the Gloucester Office is sponsoring “Operation Commitment To Our Troops” to be held at the Gloucester High School Field House, 32 Leslie O. Johnson Road, Gloucester, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

As we continue to pursue the war Afghanistan and stand down from the conflict in Iraq, the number of our young men and women who return to the United States wounded physically, emotionally or psychologically is sadly rising. Many escape the obvious scars and injuries, but still often return to an economy in turmoil with jobs and housing resources scarce.

Many return with immediate needs to provide for the young families they left behind when they answered the call for freedom. Sadly, many of those who most need and are entitled to services, benefits and support are unable to navigate the myriad of federal, state and local agencies. They are often overcome with the bewildering stacks of forms and requirements. And so they give up, to their detriment and our shame.

The United Veterans Council of Gloucester and the other sponsors want to step forward to assist our recently released veterans in obtaining the assistance and help they often so desperately need.

One of the major failures during the Vietnam War was that many of us who returned from combat often found rejection, scorn, and a dearth of support. Much of the country was torn by the war and tended to unfairly blame the men and women who served in the war for the country’s faults and failures. An entire generation of men and women paid a high price and continue to pay a high price for that rejection.

This should not and cannot happen to this generation of veterans.

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