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Your Views: Make effort to help veterans support groups
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Many of us are not directly affected by the devastation that war can have on a family. Often the brave men and women who sacrifice everything for us all are just people in uniforms or wounded warriors who are plagued with a plethora of seen or unseen medical conditions, causing us to feel bad for them and their families.

As we celebrate our nations 236th year of independence, we need to not only be aware of the sacrifice of our service members and veterans but to also feel that sacrifice. Aren’t we all Americans who depend on our armed services to protect what it means to be an American? Don’t we all enjoy the freedoms, often taken for granted, that they protect for us on a daily basis? Do we ever take the time to feel their sacrifice?

Can you imagine leaving your family behind your spouse, children, parents, friends and freedoms here to go into a situation where you know you may be maimed or killed? Do you love your country as much as these men and women do?

Not all of us are equipped to fight for our country or defend the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness endowed to us by our creator. But there are some simple things we can do to help our service members and veterans greatly.

As our economy has caused us to have financial difficulties, veterans — who often are on fixed incomes due to disability — are hurting more than ever. Consider making a charitable contribution to one of the organizations who support veterans, such as Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars or their auxiliaries.

Often the members of these organizations are the only people that consistently support veterans and their families. These organizations are functioning on limited budgets with many needs that exceed available funds.

As we celebrate Independence Day and reflect on the freedoms we have, take a moment to thank a service member, a veteran, a wounded warrior and their family members who never hesitated to go into the fight regardless of the outcome. Feel their sacrifice.

Even more so, put your words into action by offering your time or funds to help these patriots. Whether you agree with the political decisions made in war or the moral issues associated with war, remember that our soldiers don’t make any those decisions. They are there to take action and execute the skills they have been trained to do when the order is given. That’s what they do for all of us who enjoy the freedoms they preserve.

Respect our heroes and offer them your support today; it’s the very least we can do. Make this Fourth of July week a memorable celebration through your actions in lightening the load of the sacrifice that our nation’s heroes have made for each of us.

Traci McBride

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