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  • Veterans Day 2021

    This time of year, is always special to me, albeit difficult at times.  Veterans Day falls on the day after my beloved United States Marine Corps birthday – 246 years old as of 10 November 2021.  As a federal employee, I reap the benefits of those that served before me, able to take this day off to reflect on their sacrifices and the love they showed for their fellow man.  I can’t help but feel a bit different this year, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the botched pull-out from Afghanistan and a general sense of unease.  It seems as if the principles our Veterans fought for is slipping away.  The oath to protect this land from enemies foreign and domestic, is more important now than in any other time in history.  I was reminded of this over the last few weeks, by fellow Veterans in a Veteran Group I facilitate weekly; a group blessed with a Vietnam Veteran, Marines and Soldiers and members of the LGBTQ community.  All the shit they see happening around them, the constant tightening of government control, the facade that is the Veterans Administration and its inability to find good leadership, and the bureaucratic nightmare that continues to impact Veterans. The delays in identifying Burn Pit conditions, inability to maintain consistent provider support in primary care, mental health and Vet Center departments is disgusting, and is impacting these Veterans psychologically, emotionally and mentally.  As I prepare for a local community event, where I will celebrate Veterans Day with my two boys and the Catholic Church, I can only hope that other institutions and systems realize the rare commodity they have in their Veteran population. I hope the system stops patronizing Veterans with lip service and takes real-expedited action to effect positive change now.  Semper Fidelis is the Marine Corps Motto…the government and its entities should adopt a similar mantra…Always Faithful to our Veterans was something promised by President Abraham Lincoln, but often falls short in systems that step all over each other due to metric fixation.  Remember! Never Forget the blood, sweat and tears spilled to provide the freedoms we have.  Tell VA administrators, Vet Center Management, Legislators and Business Leaders…tell them to fix themselves!