By Richard Grosskreutz, student ambassador and veteran in the criminal justice program
Recently, Globe University-Wausau celebrated Veterans Day with cake, cookies and a message of thanks to those who have served in any branch of the military.
During the day, several veterans were asked if they would be willing to share some thoughts about their service. One veteran, Richard Grosskreutz, a student ambassador in the criminal justice program, offered these thoughts about Veterans Day and the importance of supporting our veterans:
On November 11, 1918, World War I came to an end. The following year, President Wilson declared November 11 to be Armistice Day to recognize and thank the veterans for their service and their victory in World War I.
The holiday was celebrated unofficially until 1938 when it was signed into law by Congress as an official holiday. In 1954, Congress officially replaced the word “armistice” to “veterans” because Armistice Day was intended to honor World War I veterans only, and they wanted to officially include veterans from World War II, the Korean War and any future wars.
Since 1954, our nation has celebrated Veterans Day every year, although veterans haven’t always been treated as well as they are today.
During the Vietnam Conflict, returning veterans were looked down upon and treated as murderers and lower-class citizens. This attitude toward veterans slowly changed. After the beginning of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, our nation rallied around veterans. The vast majority of the population understood that military personnel do not choose when or where they go to war; they just go where they are sent and follow the orders given to them.
Our nation has become so supportive of veterans in the last 13 years that hundreds of veteran support groups and organizations have been established. These groups and organizations are founded by companies, different levels of government and private individuals.
Unfortunately, this also means there are fake organizations out there who claim to exist to help veterans, but in reality only exist to con well-meaning people out of money. I think it is important to support the real organizations, but we must also be careful and check the validity of the organization. I personally will only donate to organizations I know about and I have seen in action.
Here is a list of organizations I have researched and find to be legitimate:
- The Wounded Warrior Project
- Operation Not Forgotten
- Wisconsin Veterans Foundation
- Operation Muskie
- Disabled American Vets
- American Legion
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Purple Heart Cars
- Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America
- Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
- Fisher House
- Never Forgotten Honor Flight
This is only a small list, but all of these organizations are capable of making a huge difference in the lives of veterans. Please check these organizations out, and if you are able, please donate or volunteer with these and other veterans organizations.
It is important that we take care of those who offer their lives so we may live ours in this great nation of ours. If you are unable to donate or volunteer, simply take the time to thank a veteran and let them know you care. Sometimes that is all it takes to improve the life of one of our nation’s heroes. If you know of any other great organizations, help spread the word about them. Less than one percent of Americans serve in the five branches of the military at any time. Please let them know you care.