A VETERANS DAY MESSAGE FROM WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS ASSISTANCE SECRETARY RICK THOMPSON
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In the past year, some of you may have seen a TV show on your local public broadcasting channel called “Serving Those Who Served.” This production, created by the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance (WVDVA) and the West Virginia Library Commission, is designed to raise awareness among veterans and their family members of the benefits they may qualify for, and to educate the general public about issues facing our veteran community. On this Veterans Day, I reference the TV show simply to draw attention to its title, “Serving Those Who Served.”
As Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, I am always looking for new ways that we, as communities and as a state, can show veterans how deeply we appreciate their sacrifices. It is my job to serve those who have served us in the United States Armed Forces every day of the year (and a wonderful job it is). On Veterans Day, however, we share that responsibility. Whether you’re a school teacher, a construction worker, a student or a stay-at-home mom, our veterans have defended your freedoms and it is our duty to honor them.
John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” I commend the citizens of West Virginia for always answering this call to action. Your patriotism and commitment to our veteran community is shown through the countless acts of generosity you perform daily. These acts occur through projects like Quilts of Valor, an organization that donates quilts to veterans and in which three West Virginia quilting guilds participate; Project Healing Waters, a foundation that uses fly fishing as therapy for veterans and has six chapters in our state; and the Honor Flight Program that transports veterans to Washington DC to visit memorials erected in their honor and that now has hubs in Huntington and Princeton.
These are but a few examples of how we can express our thanks to veterans. Because they have given of themselves for our future, I challenge each of you to serve those who have served us in whatever way you can this Veterans Day. For information about the foundations listed above, please visit the “community resources page” of our web site, www.veterans.wv.gov