Today we celebrate the men and women who help (and have helped) protect this great country. I come from a military family and I have two sons who serve in the military (Air Force and Navy). I am proud of my sons and respect the choices they made to server our country. When I look back in recent memory, the atmosphere today is very different from when I grew up and service men were coming back from Vietnam. I believe most people in the United States appreciate the service, dedication, and sacrifice that military people make every day.
While the statement “we appreciate your service” is appreciated by men and women serving in the military (i.e. I hear this all the time when I am with my kids traveling), there is still a lot more that we need to do for our veterans. I was reading the paper yesterday and there was an interesting article on veterans from Allan K. DuBois, President of the State Bar of Texas. He is a former US Army JAGC lawyer, who volunteers for legal clinics for veterans (for free). In Texas (where I live and have lived for the past seventeen years) we have 1.7 million current residents that have served in the military. Interestingly most of the veterans in Texas served in the Gulf War era as compared to the Nation where most of the veterans are from the Vietnam War era.
Some things that I did not know: the poverty rate among veterans is rising at an alarming rate, especially among Gulf War veterans who have the highest poverty rate. In 2012 approximately 7.8% of veterans use SNAP (federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). This is up from 4.8% in 2009. In 2010 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans was created to assist veterans in legal matters and help them wade through the complicated government assistance programs. We have many veterans coming back from Iraq with disabilities and other health issues and just trying to navigate healthcare is a major ordeal (as a billing company we know how hard it is to just get paid from Veterans Admin for healthcare services provided to Veterans).
Today let’s honor our service men and women and make a commitment to help even more by volunteering or giving (donations) to organizations like the Wounded Warriors Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/).
For more information on legal assistance for veterans, you can call the State Bar of Texas (800) 204-2222, X1514 or visit: http://texaslawhelp.org/veterans and https://texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Texas_Lawyers_for_Texas_Veterans