GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

April 12, 2013

Editorial: Practical help for our veterans

There is a wide variety of services available to veterans, and in that sense, the federal government and local veterans’ offices like the one here in Gloucester indeed do a lot to serve those who have given so much of themselves to serve us and our country.

Where the federal government often falls short, however, is in reaching out to make sure that those returning from the service are aware of the services to which they’re entitled.

That’s what makes Saturday’s “Operation: Commitment To Our Troops” jobs/education/services fair at Gloucester High School’s Benjamin Smith Field House so important. And while we commend the local and state officials sponsoring this event, and especially Gloucester attorney and Vietnam veterans Mark Nestor and his colleagues for pulling it together, we also urge any and all veterans in Gloucester, across Cape Ann and elsewhere in Essex County to turn out tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and makes the most of what’s being offered.

Those offerings are far more extensive than those spotlighted at a smaller such fair held in January. Indeed, Nestor and his team have this time put together a fair that will include representatives of more than 50 vendors and agencies, each of whom can talk face-to-face with veterans regarding health-care needs, job opportunities, chances to further their education toward enhancing their workplace goals, and all sort of other issues.

As Nestor notes in his letter at right, this is not about speeches and presentations. It’s about aiding veterans who need help with easing back into the workforce and mainstream — the kind of real help that all of us truly owe these folks who have worked to protect our security and freedoms.

It is, in other words, the kind of true “commitment to our troops” that all of our veterans deserve.

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