EDITORIAL: Giving back to veterans and each other

November 10, 2011 Editorial Staff
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They served us, we should serve them

We all fly our flags proudly on Memorial Day, July 4 andVeterans Day, but do we really know what it takes to defend ourcountry?

It takes brave men and women who put their lives and limbs on theline to defend our freedom and keep us safe. Some make the ultimatesacrifice.

But for those who return – scarred, emotionally and/or physically -we do an injustice.

Though they currently go through the Transition Assistance Programto help them return to civilian life, most vets say it is a brokensystem. And those who enter the VA system often get lost, expertssay.

With some 50,000 veterans living in the borough, Brooklyn’s VAHospital – which has expanded to offer such services as home-basedprimary care, as well as the Veterans Justice Outreach program withthe new-this-year Brooklyn Veterans Court, and a new sleep center– had already seen approximately 35,000 vets by September of thisyear..

We need to expand services for returning men and women even furtherto include resume help, job placement and training, more medicaland psychological assistance, credit and home mortgage counseling,tuition assistance and scholarships, tax relief and credits, andextension of filing deadlines, re-employment protection, and evenlife insurance benefits.

The government has a few programs, including America Works, whichhelp homeless veterans, but experts say the contracts are soundersized they are only able to help a small percentage of thepopulation.

Though the Obama administration has made the issue a priority, itis still not enough.

After all, would the United States be so united without ourveterans?

Dig deep and give

In this, the season of giving we urge you, our readers andadvertisers, to dig deep and give to those in need.

There is a plethora of food and clothing drives going on now,including a food drive sponsored by The Home Reporter andThe Brooklyn Spectator that will kick off shortly. Lookfor boxes where you can drop off foodstuffs at local businesses andoffices, and join us in trying to make this season a happy one foreveryone.

Businesses interested in hosting a drop box should contact us byNovember 15 at 718-238-6600 or via email [email protected].

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