November is Military Family Month
The 11th day of November, always important because it is the day we recognize our veterans and their courageous service to the nation, will take on a special significance in the coming year as we observe the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. November 11th, 1918 marks the cessation of hostilities in what was to be called, all too briefly, the ‘war to end all wars.’ Several books by noted historians on the causes and initial prosecution of World War I (Catastrophe 1914 and The WarThat Ended Peace) have appeared recently and been added to the substantial collection of literature that includes such titles as Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August and Sidney Bradshaw Fay’s The Origins of the World War. Joseph Persico, in 2004, published an entire volume just on the subject of that fateful November 11th, entitled 11thMonth, 11th Day, 11th Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 – WorldWar I And Its Violent Climax. In a single day, the combatants suffered an additional 11,000 casualties.
November is Military Family Month. The recognition extended to U.S. veterans takes on a variety of forms in both the public and private sectors. A number of retail establishments and travel destinations extend courtesies to veterans and current service members on Veterans’ Day weekend, and some, including Foot Locker, Home Depot and Lowe’s, offer benefits throughout the year. A partial list of the establishments that recognize veterans and service members is available on the American Legion website.
In recent years, the U.S. Veterans’ Administration has revised its website to highlight specific forms of assistance available to veterans, including such programs as Disability Compensation, Home Loan Eligibility, Beneficiary Financial Counseling and Mortgage Delinquency Assistance. For vocational rehabilitation and employment services assistance, as well as education benefits, veterans can take advantage of its electronic filing portal. The process for applying for disability claims and the types of conditions that qualify for disability compensation are described at length on the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs website.
It is currently estimated that there are approximately 22,328,000 veterans in the U.S. As statistical reports and studies develop a more accurate picture of the state of veterans, so too have the changes in the understanding of disabling conditions and diseases. The population of veterans with service-connected disabilities has grown to approximately 3,400,000. The VA has begun an email advisory service that notifies veterans, and dependents and survivors of veterans, about benefits that may be available to them. Those interested may register for this service through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
- Jim S.