This Veterans Day, we're honoring Progress employees and others who have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Veterans Day is a national holiday observed in the United States to honor people who served in the U.S. armed forces—the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, and more recently the Space Force—and were not dishonorably discharged. A veteran is someone who has completed their service to their country and is no longer actively serving.
Veterans Day should not be confused with two other prominent holidays that recognize the military service of others: Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day. Memorial Day is a day to honor military members who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died while on active duty. Armed Forces Day is meant to honor those currently actively serving.
Veterans Day, originally named Armistice Day, is observed on November 11 each year, in recognition of the end of World War I, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. And although Veterans Day is a U.S. holiday, we also recognize and honor our Progressers across the globe who have served.
The veteran community is composed of people from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. People join the military for a variety of reasons and their personal ties to the military will affect them throughout their lives. Here is why Veterans Day is important to us as the leaders of the Veterans employee resource group (ERG) at Progress.
Keith Baranowski: Veterans Day allows me to meet up and celebrate shared experiences with my brothers and sisters.
Steve Southwell: When you pause and reflect on the dedication and sacrifice it takes on the part of many people to secure and defend a nation, it drives home the need for all of us to do our parts to repay that and pay it forward. We owe it to veterans, past, present, and future, to be worthy of that sacrifice—to be good citizens and strive towards a more perfect union.
Glenn Mulno: I think it is important to acknowledge and give thanks to all those who were willing to give everything of themselves to defend their country and the freedoms we all enjoy.
While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day in calendars and advertisements, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling "because it is not a day that 'belongs' to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”
As opposed to Memorial Day, Veterans Day isn't a solemn occasion. Because of this, saying “Happy Veterans Day” to a veteran can be used. Another common way to greet a veteran is to thank them for their service. If time permits though, taking the time to ask a veteran about their service or volunteering your time to make a difference in the lives of veterans will be deeply appreciated.
Volunteering is a core part of the veteran community and what we believe in. It brings us together for support and healing. You can find volunteer opportunities through a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), or through Progress’ veterans ERG.
This year, our Veterans ERG at Progress will be making a charitable donation to Fisher House Foundation, best known for its network of 91 comfort homes where military and veterans' families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.
All too many veterans suffer from wounds obtained during their service. While many of those wounds are visible, most of the wounds are invisible. Mental health issues are the No. 1 health concerns for veterans that have served, particularly during times of conflict. A large percentage of veterans suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Much of that is due to the amount of emotional distress and trauma active military personnel experience while their brains are still developing.
Most active-duty members in combat are young adults under the age of 25, but brain development continues through the age of 25. As such, suicide among veterans is very high, exceeding 300% of the national average. If you are a veteran, or know a veteran, that is in need of health benefits (physical and/or mental), please visit the VA site here.
Our mission is to foster an inclusive community of veterans, reserve servicemembers, and military families at Progress and in our local communities. Through engaging with Veterans@Progress, our members will find a community where we are included and belong while also driving programs that support and encourage each other.
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