If you are a veteran, The Lincoln County News thanks you for your service.
But how we as a country treat our veterans shows whether we honor them — not how many flags we hang up or how many patriotic memes we post on Facebook or how many editorials we write to thank veterans for their service.
Do veterans have timely access to the benefits their service entitles them to? Are those benefits adequate to address the unique set of challenges veterans face, from combat injuries to mental health to issues with employment and housing?
When it comes to politics, do we value military service and treat veterans with respect, regardless of whether those veterans share the same beliefs? Or do we honor veterans only when they agree with us?
(To honor a veteran does not mean we must vote for a veteran who does not represent our beliefs, but we should not denigrate them or minimize their service, as we see time and time again — see the attacks against John Kerry, George W. Bush, John McCain … )
When government falls short in its duty to veterans, do we, as civilians, complain about government, or do we take action ourselves — like the Boothbay Legionnaires on the front page of our Oct. 22 edition, who, with no government support, are building trailers to provide temporary housing for homeless veterans?
Veterans Day is an opportunity not only to thank veterans, but to examine our relationship with veterans — both as individuals and as a country.