Archive for the ‘Veterans Day’ Category


By now, Veterans Day weekend has come and gone, and yet we still appreciate. This Veterans Day marked the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion. That’s 1919 you know. Likewise like many, there are Veterans that are or were not appreciated for their service being skipped over or whatever. Regardless of the dilemmas and the regardless of opinionated thoughts, Veterans you are still appreciated! So in the ongoing honor of this Veterans Day, here is a blog letter for you.

And if you are a Veteran that likes what I write here or the comments on the Stephen’s Spot on WordPress Facebook Page or the Stephen’s Spot Twitter Page, I thank you. It’s only the beginning. Again!

Dear Veterans (and Veteran families) of the United States of America:

It’s me Stephen, a son of a late Vietnam Veteran that served proudly.

Yes, this weekend was and is your weekend. I have 4 words to share for this holiday weekend of yours: Reclaim your Veterans Day! Christmas maybe coming real quick, and Thanksgiving is next to come, but still reclaim your time! I sampled again that from the infamous Congresswoman Maxine Waters who kept constantly saying, “reclaiming my time” over and over again. But seriously, Vets it’s your time again to reclaim the holiday that is meant for you. This is your time to take the heart of this occasion to summarize all of the war stories, the valor, the parades, service stories, lectures, and also experiences that many of you endured in uniform. Those of us that haven’t done the job, we go around that having the opinionated thought about wars and many others. Of course, we have that. But however, without the will of God and you guys, that would not be very possible. Many of you have your say of what you did and yes, your commentary is still and always valid.

But the game doesn’t stop there. Matter of fact, it goes on until the wheels fall off. Even it goes on every day at work, school, church, and leisure. Speaking of the challenges, last year it was an ongoing concern about our so-called president lagging behind when it becomes the statuses of our Veterans. And it’s related to the Department of the Veterans Affairs that many of them are not getting their VA cash due to the fact that it’s an IT issue. This year’s challenge is an everyday challenge in regards to your health, education, job search and most of all, the communities. Why do I say this? every week or month, I hear from Veterans all the time, especially African American Veterans that the issues of Jobs has been a concern. Matter of fact, it’s always been a concern either as a Veteran and as a non-veteran. Homelessness is also a concern, that no one wants to be homeless on any day. In Milwaukee today, there was an idea to build tiny homes that homeless vets can get into to get fed, clothed, and yes to get a new fresh start. The first time I’ve seen the Tiny Homes was in Racine County. But now I’m glad that the Homeless vets here the city can get that chance to reclaim their obligation to get back on their feet again to get going. Speaking of getting back on the feet again: I need to address a concern. Yes, this event is coming up in Milwaukee and it’s an annual tradition, the Milwaukee Veteran’s Day Parade is on November 16th, which is ahead of Thanksgiving and yet it’s in financial trouble. Yep another Milwaukee long traditional parade is in financial trouble due to lack of funding, and further more lack of interest. According to the Milwaukee Independent Website, this question popped up in a gasping thought:

What does it say about the patriotism of Milwaukee and Waukesha corporations, and the general public interest, to actually honor its hometown veterans and active duty members, when a foreign company has to fund our local Veteran’s Day Parade to keep a half century tradition alive?

Let me stop you right there: Heard of the company called “TransCanada?” This is the company that is out of CANADA that helped funded the Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade back in 2017, sometime after the Flag Protesting took place across the country. Way after Colin Kaepernick (who was born in Milwaukee) made his stance with the kneeling when the National Anthem was playing in the background. Note to those who may have forgotten, it was against police brutality. Not against the flag, the military, the veterans, or any thing other thing that utilizing the thought of expressing the ideal of patriotism. Also in the article: this was mentionted in regarding those complaining about high ticket prices, and expressing interests but didn’t show up:

That was the question Milwaukee Independent asked in late October of 2017, during the NFL flag kneeling controversy. It came from the observation that members of the local community were willing buy expensive tickets and travel far to attend an outdoor entertainment event, and in an incidental moment show the measure of their patriotism by standing for a song that barely lasted a minute. However, those same people failed to make any time for a free event in their hometown to actually honor American heroes by simply showing up to wave and smile.

Wait, so folks who had complained about expensive prices for a ticket per say and not showing up to a free event , kind of shows that there is cheapness in the observation. Does this remind you of something? Read this portion that supports the above statements:

Milwaukee Independent: What factors have you seen affect interest and attendance in Milwaukee’s Veterans Day Parade since you first started attending?

Mary Ann D’Acquisto: That is a very difficult question – we have always struggled with getting people to attend the event. We have tried to get the word out as best we could – press releases, posters, e-mail, Facebook, and such, but it was never enough. The first year we took over the event was 2001 and it was just post 9/11, so everyone was very patriotic and we had a huge crowd. In the 18 years since, we have seen less and less attend every year. I have heard many reasons from people for not attending, like ‘it is too cold, I take my kids to the Christmas parade instead, I don’t have any veterans in my family, I donate money to the veterans,’ and the list goes on. I don’t think people realize how much it means to many of our veterans to have a show of public support. When no one is on the street watching the parade it makes them feel as though they are forgotten.

Milwaukee Independent: Has the elderly condition of World War II veterans altered plans for the 2019 parade, and what will the new format look like?

Mary Ann D’Acquisto: Yes, 2019 is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and many other major battles in WWII. Consequently the WWII veterans are our Special Guests of Honor for this year’s event. All veterans will be honored and participate, however the WWII vets are our featured guests. In the traditional parade format – veterans are outside for almost 4 hours and the last several years the weather has been less than favorable. That lead us to plan an event that was warmer and drier with more indoor time for our veterans.

The agenda for the day is as follows, this is open to the public: November 16 at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. 0900: Displays – military related groups and a special WWII display and performances by some of our favorite parade units. 1030 – Memorial Service. Veterans Day Parade will consist of an Honor Walk and Motorcade, it will not be the traditional 1.5 mile parade route. 1100 – Honor Walk to let our veterans know how much we appreciate them as they parade from the War Memorial over the Mason Street Bridge to Prospect Avenue. 1200 – Veterans Motorcade leaves the War Memorial to take our veterans to a reception at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. Motorcade Route – leaves Prospect and Mason and heads west down Wisconsin Avenue to 6th Street, south on 6th Street to Canal Street, west on Canal Street to Potawatomi.

The veterans will have their coffee and donuts indoors at the War Memorial and can watch the performances from inside the building. The reception and luncheon for veteran participating in the Honor Walk will be at Potawatomi this year, so that we can have a sit down lunch where there is more room. Also, everyone can watch a documentary we are putting together profiling some of our local WWII veterans.

Milwaukee Independent: For the veterans who participate in the parade each year, what do they enjoy most about the experience?

Mary Ann D’Acquisto: The general consensus is the camaraderie of everyone being together – whether at the breakfast, parade, or luncheon. I do know, however, it has been very disappointing for them to see less and less people coming to the parade to cheer them on.

Ok, let’s stop right there. What you just saw is a portion of the interview that the Milwaukee Independent did with organizer, Mary Ann D’Acquitsto who has held the event in the city for the last 18 years. The organization is overseen by the company called, “Honor Our Military, Inc”. Which has been the nucleus of keeping things in order in the traditional Veterans Day Parade. This parade, or celebration has been going on for nearly 56 years. Which is almost a long time of honoring veterans here in Milwaukee. No matter which war campaign or era. But now in the area, and after this news hitting the fan, guess what? This parade will be on the list like the City of Festivals Parade, Milwaukee Christmas Parade, and The Great Circus Parade all faded out because of lack of money. And to think about it, when the parades was making money in all, guess what? there were more folks in the Milwaukee Area! But overtime, many folks left Milwaukee. The businesses that used to be supporters of the parade, also left Milwaukee. But a few came back. As far as financial support, guess what again, that ties into the businesses. And many also don’t know how the parade process works in terms of money! You got to have sponsors, company backers, a route, the participants, permits, and etc. That’s what it takes. And sadly a lot of folks here in Milwaukee as sad as I hate to say: THEY DON’T KNOW MUCH! They don’t! Oh, when I was reading the comments about this story, specifically from one commenter on Facebook who is “still serving” puts the blame on Tom Barrett in regarding the Streetcar, the DNC Convention and many others that are deemed “liberal”. That’s kind of false. I think the writing was on the wall that had nothing to do with the streetcar nor the convention. Blame it on the lack of knowledge and financial backing that the city encountered in the last 18 years. Blame it on that! There is your reason! Or many might say, oh it’s because Milwaukee is “hyper-segregated”. The only parades left in Milwaukee are the Memorial Day Parade, Juneteenth Day Parade, the Milwaukee LGBT Parade, a Labor Day Parade, and that’s it. No other parades not on the radar. Many of you reading this might be shocked nor surprised. It’s the truth! Matter of fact, continue to read the story and see for yourself.

Now many might say after reading this, “Oh Milwaukee doesn’t care about it’s Veterans. They might support a Trolley or a DNC Convention, or that new Bucks Playhouse called the Fiserv Forum, but won’t lift a finger or pulling the level to acknowledge our Veterans that gave so much to service.” To quote Daniel Bryan: FICKLE! How many here in Milwaukee ACTUALLY acknowledges our Veterans in the City? Even if you do support the Streetcar, Lead Water Prevention talks, Jobs, Black Lives, Health Stats of the Flu, combating racism, Men’s Movember, or the DNC Convention? How many here in Milwaukee ACTUALLY has organizations or local churches that supports and appreciates the valor of Veterans annually? What about everyday? Do you realize that there is void in the city that African-American Veterans aren’t acknowledged enough like the white counterparts that served? Come on now! I know this is Veterans Day respecting the Vets in all, but this stuff is EVERYDAY when many are not organizing. My home church, just recently just celebrated it’s 14th Anniversary in Milwaukee in honoring veterans in the congregation and it’s a BLACK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH! IN MILWAUKEE! Somebody say AMEN! I’m just keeping it real! Veterans, I love y’all but I’m just saying!

Veterans: yes your day and weekend of appreciation will be concluded, but your ongoing ideas and services on this side, will still continue. Like last year, I hinted again that you need to connect with the younger veterans who are currently starting out and settling in after their service. Many of you probably have that idea in mind. Continue to do so! Direct some ideas for them to get started through programs like the American Legion, the VA or any other organization that attracts them to support and get involved.

And one more thing: Young Vets: I need to say this again, you need to respect the OG’s that came before you. It may not be pretty, but like I always suggest that it takes respect to get respect. They are the Military Elders and been in the game longer than you! I’m just saying. As always yes, the non-vets can hear and receive advice from you about your ideas to continue our cause as we move forward. No matter if it’s a job, community time in the church, health, wellness, counseling, or any other idea that is able to do, hey we would welcome and respect it. If I were running a company or a division in a company, yes I would hire veterans in a heartbeat. Why you ask? Since many of you been in places that many of us have seen on TV, why not you? Just asking. No need to go further!

And finally, I realized that the entire month of November is “National Military Veterans and Families Month”. Or National Veterans Month. And it should be. Matter of fact that should have been on Obama’s watch. I know, it was 45’s crazy thing. But however that’s not the case. What is the case that this gives us a chance to have more appreciations, admiration of valor, celebrations and more ways to do Outreach to all of you. Regardless of your service and past duties.

So……To all the Veterans that got the welcome treatment: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that never got the welcome treatment but got it in small appreciative tokens of appreciations later on: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans who are homeless and still keeping hope alive for the better: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that were forgotten or being left out: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that were never acknowledged for their service of any kind, but got acknowledged later on: Never Forget.

To all the WWII Vets: Never Forget.

To all the Korean War Vets: Never Forget.

To the families of WWI: Never Forget.

To the Vietnam Veterans and families: Never Forget.

To the Veterans of Grenada, Beirut, & the Cold War, and Families: Never Forget.

To the Veterans of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Families: Never Forget.

And yes….to the upcoming Veterans and families of Current war on Terror/Iraqi Freedom/etc. – Never Forget!

Additionally: To all the Women Veterans that blazed new paths and set new tones: Never Forget.

To all the Male Veterans: even though you have long historical experiences in the war in uniform, still never forget!

To all of my African-American Veterans: Historically, African-Americans have been in every conflict of wars since the beginning. Even when fighting for the flag and the country that didn’t want them due to race. These are facts, not alternative opinions altered by anyone political. Even with all this: I say NEVER FORGET!

And to all those of other ethnic Veterans ranging from the Indigenous to the European and all: yes, you too should Never Forget!

Never forget your time, Veterans. You have earned the stripes and flowers. Reclaim your Veterans Day!

Thanks to you of all what you accomplished.

Sincerely,

Stephen


 

By now, Veterans Day weekend has come and gone, and yet we still appreciate. This Veterans Day marked the 100th Anniversary of the ending of World War I. That’s 1918 you know. Likewise like many, there are Veterans that are or were not appreciated for their service being skipped over or whatever. Regardless of the dilemmas and the regardless of opinionated thoughts, Veterans you are still appreciated! So in the ongoing honor of this Veterans Day, here is a blog letter for you.

And if you are a Veteran that likes what I write here or the comments on the Stephen’s Spot on WordPress Facebook Page or the Stephen’s Spot Twitter Page, I thank you. It’s only the beginning!

Dear Veterans (and Veteran families) of the United States of America:

It’s me Stephen, a son of a late Vietnam Veteran that served proudly.

Yes, this weekend was and is your weekend. I have 4 words to share for this holiday weekend of yours: Reclaim your Veterans Day! I sampled that from the infamous Congresswoman Maxine Waters who kept constantly saying, “reclaiming my time” over and over again. Yes that Maxine Waters, or now being chosen as “Auntie Maxine.” More on that later. But seriously, Vets it’s your time to reclaim the holiday that is meant for you. This is your time to take the heart of this occasion to summarize all of the war stories, service stories, lectures, and also experiences that many of you endured in uniform. We or those of us that haven’t done the job, we go around that, yes having the opinionated thought about wars and many others. Of course, we have that. But however, without the will of God and you guys, that would not be very possible. Yes, of course, many of you have your say of what you did and yes, your commentary is still and always valid.

But the game doesn’t stop there. Matter of fact, it goes on until the wheels fall off. Even it goes on every day at work, school and leisure. Speaking of the challenges, most recently in our daily government problems, there is an ongoing concern about our so-called president lagging behind when it becomes the statuses of our Veterans. And it’s related to the Department of the Veterans Affairs that many of them are not getting their VA cash due to the fact that it’s an IT issue. Wait a minute? An IT Issue?! Seriously?! And to further the fact that the 45th so-called President is letting this happen. Did I mention that the so-called president never visited the troops overseas? Hmmmmm………..I wonder what happened with that? Oh, that’s right he pretends he cares but really not!  Veterans and Veteran Families, you need to step up and get on 45’s butt and get your funds. Many of you probably were in favor of 45 to be the President. But if I were a real supporter of his, I’ll be all over him like white on rice! Vets, get your game faces on!

Now Veterans: yes your day and weekend of appreciation will be concluded, but your ongoing ideas, appreciations, and services on this side, will still continue. Like last year, I hinted that you need to connect with the younger veterans who are currently starting out and settling in after their service. Many of you probably have that idea in mind. Continue to do so! Young Vets, respect the OG’s that came before you. It may not be pretty, but like I always suggest that it takes respect to get respect. They are the Military Elders and been in the game longer than you! I’m just saying.  As always yes, the non-vets can hear and receive advice from you about your ideas to continue our cause as we move forward. No matter if it’s a job, community time in the church, health, wellness, counseling, or any other idea that is able to do, hey we would welcome and respect it. If I were running a company or a division in a company, yes I would hire veterans in a heartbeat. Why you ask? Since many of you been in places that many of us have seen on TV, why not you? Just asking.

Finally, many of you looked at the video above. And many ask why this? Well, if anyone looked at SNL last weekend, yes during the Weekend Update, Pete Davidson made a joke about the newly Texas Representative Lt. Dan Crenshaw. Yes, I know that he’s a Republican and I don’t like Republicans after the debacle dumb and stupid decisions of Don…you know whom I’m talking about. But yes, Pete apologized on his end and yet let Lt. Crenshaw did a little ribbing and accepted his apology. Yes even though it was about an eyepatch, but his eyepatch for a reason was due to an IED explosion in one of the tours in Afghanistan. Yes, he suffered that injury and paid a price. It’s interesting that it almost pales in comparison with the late Sen. John McCain in his stories being a POW during the Vietnam War in Hanoi being tortured after his capture. We may not have to like it. But yes, they are Navy War Veterans from two different Generations of Battle. But yet respect must be given. We either like it or not. I’m talking to us non-vets here. We know. But to conclude, both Lt. Crenshaw and Pete agreed on one similar two words: Never Forget.

So……To all the Veterans that got the welcome treatment: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that never got the welcome treatment but got it in small appreciative tokens of appreciations later on: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans who are homeless and still keeping hope alive for the better: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that were forgotten or being left out: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that were never acknowledged for their service of any kind, but got acknowledged later on: Never Forget.

To all the WWII Vets: Never Forget.

To all the Korean War Vets: Never Forget.

To the families of WWI: Never Forget.

To the Vietnam Veterans and families: Never Forget.

To the Veterans of Grenada, Beirut, & the Cold War, and Families: Never Forget.

To the Veterans of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Families: Never Forget.

And yes….to the upcoming Veterans and families of Current war on Terror/Iraqi Freedom/etc. – Never Forget!

Additionally: To all the Women Veterans that blazed new paths and set new tones: Never Forget.

To all the Male Veterans: even though you have long historical experiences in the war in uniform, still never forget!

To all of my and every African-American Veteran: Historically, African-Americans have been in every conflict of wars since the beginning. Even when fighting for the flag and the country that didn’t want them due to race. These are facts, not alternative opinions altered by anyone political. Even with all this: I say NEVER FORGET!

And to all those of other ethnic Veterans ranging from the Indigenous to the European and all: yes, you too should Never Forget!

Never forget your time, Veterans. You have earned the stripes and flowers. Reclaim your Veterans Day!

Thanks to you of all what you accomplished.

Sincerely,

Stephen

SSP_Thank You Veterans Sign


Before us Americans get the cooking stuff out, it’s time think. Get your thinking caps on. With all the media mess going on from the flag to racism, we know food is source of healing. So is the mind preparing the food. But as always, I’m scratching my head again.

You realize that “Movember” really started with voting right? Way before the health awareness male mustache thing. Research!

Why is #45 wasting his time with LaVar Ball?!

Trump supporters: some of you realize that LeVar Burton is not LaVar Ball. How dumb is that?

Milwaukee, stop playing with the Streetcar questions. You know it’s giving folks jobs right? Quit playing!

I want to know: WHY are callers calling Churches for money?!!

Why are the Packers not playing good football right now you ask? – 5 words here – Anthony Barr injured Aaron Rodgers. Say it again and again.

What about those Wisconsin Badgers Football players?

So, Atlanta tore down the Georgia Dome. But why many are upset?

In a recent report, the Greater Milwaukee Area is not good when it comes to African-Americans. Do we know this like, already?

According to Forbes, it once stated that many HR’s look at resumes that get tossed after looking almost scary. What is the real reason why many aren’t getting the jobs?! Race, Credit Checks, Education?

So the Facebook group, “The Whole Milwaukee #1” is now getting noticed. So my questions are, why are those using it for swapping drugs, beat downs and not enough for networking with our people?

Speaking of networking, does the Milwaukee MPS Alumni actually know about it’s networking events and actually go besides the Alumni Reunions?

Is Mahlon Mitchell ready for real to run for Governor in Wisconsin? And you realize that Wisconsin never had a black Governor since it’s founding?

Did the black Veterans received much love on Veterans Day? Minority Vets don’t get that much love though.

International Men’s Day came and went on November 19th. Why is this day not honored enough in the United States? Close your mouths, feminists! It’s not about you.

Hey Sagittarius folks, our season is here. Ready to sling the Arrows?

So GOP, is Trump really that guy? Seriously?!

Again, why are we body shaming?! This ain’t High School.

For all you fans of #45, does the term embarrassing comes to mind?

Why is it always that there are more married couples retreats and not enough singles only retreats that don’t see marriage?

Who is responsible for these young girls and young boys acting a fool based on stolen cars, etc?

The recent victory for the Democrats in Virginia and some parts of America really sparked new heights. Is this the breakthrough for the midterms regarding the blue team in 2018?

For you crazy drivers in Milwaukee, why are you still cutting in-front of vehicles and causing accidents?

On December 5th, are you Georgia residents are actually going to vote?

Who really hates the Hallmark Christmas Movies? Asking for a friend!

For the Wisconsin jobs that have the 60,000 jobs unfilled, what are real skills and experience to have besides just having a High School Diploma?

Who is really shopping on Black Friday to get that ideal T.V.? That ain’t happening!

Why do many non-Native Americans had to jump on the bandwagon of not doing the Thanksgiving thing? You know which ones!

I need to know who is putting out this crap about Churches “supposed to have money” for those whom don’t know? Do they know protocol?

Every church men’s group should know about the safe sanctuary rules from sexual harassment to violent outcomes. Does your Church men’s group do this?

For those of us who have to spend Thanksgiving without a special loved one for the first time this year, how will we get through this? And the same for Christmas, etc? It’s hard for us. Even my family.

Why is David Clarke still running his mouth?

Are the black protest groups really that troublesome being on the FBI watch?

Why would those who go after Rep. Maxine Waters with death threats?

Is Donna Brazille being targeted unfairly after her book was published? Or just happenstance?

Why are the “so-called patriots” coming for Congresswoman Frederica Wilson?

Will the real truth about the late Sgt. La David Johnson please stand up? Don’t act like we don’t know.

I see alot of military hats and division hats, why not have hats for descendants of Veterans or Veteran Families? (sons, daughters, etc.)

What is the percentage of African-Americans in the American Legion Family? Not asking for a friend!

Is the cord cutting thing still going on well? Asking for a friend!

Should the month of November be also the month to spur the support of Veterans everyday?

Why is it always that Black Men, (good ones mind you) get all mistakenly for something that they didn’t do for years and years? Black women, you must explain your part also. As well as everyone else. From molesting, to harassment, to abuse.

For all those whom are so-conscious and running your mouth on social media: what is your motive for ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING?! Don’t talk about it, be about it!

Will Aaron Rodgers be stronger than ever? Just wait, Packer fans. Revenge is coming.

Why is it always a problem for men to talk about Sexual Harassment? Even if you have men in your life that went through it since childhood? This is not a joke!

Is Brett Hundley learning well? What about Joe Callahan?

Tired of reading the same ol’ stuff? Why not read something different? Hello!

If many complain about other people’s blogs, journalism, radio, TV, Online Podcastings, and others, why not start their own stuff to inform of what they want to talk about?

One of these days, I want to learn Skeet Shooting and Archery. Who is a great teacher? Where? Must be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lot of folks might do the Black Friday thing. If you pack Walmart or Best Buy, why not the local small stores?

I gotta ask why did those in Wisconsin think that it’s a good idea to have a gun laws signed for toddlers or those under 10 to have guns in their hands for hunting? No!

Is Foxconn the real way for jobs in Wisconsin regarding black folks who CAN’T get to the jobs? Still asking that for a friend.

Twitter: I like you. Why is your app causing problems of logging in?!

And the final question before you start cooking: has the Black Friday feeling sunk in yet, or are you staying put?

Now you may resume continue cooking your Thanksgiving Meal.


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It’s been four long years since I written a blog letter to our Veterans around Veterans Day. With all of what’s going on with the protests of the NFL, the disconnect of Veterans taking knees for guys like Colin Kaepernick, or many of the same ideals that still being reminded of what you have achieved, but also getting called out by some keyboard gangsters on social media whom think they are woke and conscious in a sense of false knowledge of getting the word out. But never had the experience but only in the streets. And also remembering active military personal whom had the ability to serve only to be killed in action. And remembering Veterans whom have passed on and leaving behind a mark.

Veterans, it’s your day. And in this now Month of National Veterans and Military Families Month, (originally started by President Obama) we take this time on this day to celebrate you, your accomplishments and your appreciation. While we non-veterans may not like the war stuff per se, many of us do respect what you did. Even if we are Veteran Family Members. So let’s kick this thing in high gear one more time.

Dear Veterans of America:

It’s me Stephen. A black blogger and a proud veterans son that doesn’t get paid to do this.

Your day is here: THANK YOU! Again your day is here, thanks again. As many of you are embarking on another day celebrating your valor achievements, it to me is very vital that I encourage you to keep up with your accomplishments. Why I say this you asked? I believe that many of us non-veterans need to hear the stories that many get confused or twisted. Many of us non-veterans had heard and said about not serving the nation for various reasons. But many of us who didn’t serve had family members indicated that “We served enough!” And many had family members whom were concerned about war or warzones and coming back safe here. And you veterans must also realize that there are problems are being talked about here!

We see you with your medals, jackets, and hats signifying your branch of service and war campaigns but we still say “Thank you for your service.” I know many of you hate that, but many of us mean this! “Thank you for YOUR service!”

Now I want to shift gears for a moment. Kneeling during the national anthem. The same national anthem that many of you kind of hated. Almost. When we all saw Colin Kaepernick kneeling last year in protest, many of us were asking what up with this?! And many of us went in on him and said he’s disrespecting the flag! Other NFL players sat, linked in arms, raised fists, and even some fans sat in the seats while some took offense to say of the “disrespect of our flag at Ford Field!” But here me out Veterans, it wasn’t about the flag, the military or you guys. It’s about the injustice of innocent lives being taken away unceremoniously! That’s what is it about. Nothing against you. And I say this as a Veteran Son. Many of you fought and served – I get that. Really I do. But this fight in injustice of innocent lives here in America, is another war everyday. Every single time when a black man or black woman gets killed for no reason as an example,  this is the type of injustice we are talking about. Black Lives Matter. Always. And furthermore, when that footage is displayed on the news or online, it’s a sign most that the person gets disrespected, usually through social media. And by many other cultures whom don’t understand what’s it like to be a black man in America. Veterans, this is a whole new fight. And for you black veterans, you should know regarding this scenario. But getting back to this kneeling, guess what? I saw some of you kneeling in support of Colin. And some of you supported and continued to support the cause! And this is the cause that many of you fought for.

Continue to shift, I want to comment your groups. There was an article that was published on the Washington Post in 2014 about a young veteran, asked about joining a local VFW and the American Legion. The Veteran, Kate Hoit served 8 years in the Army and she didn’t go for the opportunity to be apart of it. She didn’t want to be in the mix of those at least older than her to be with the “old guys” per se having a whiskey or smoke. She like many others her age wanted to be in the community doing various activities with families and non-military members in a active different angle. But she’s not alone. As I read the article, other veterans like her are doing the same thing. But how is the veterans groups like the American Legion, or the VFW are catering to young veterans, whom alot of them are Millennials?

Just like any other group: Alumni Associations, Church Groups, Neighborhood Groups, and others, there are groups that have a hard time finding young folks. Why is this you ask? What is it that you want the young vets to follow after you step down? And what is the young vets should be looking for in getting into the clubs and organizations that you created, or founded? There is also a sense of a disconnect in communication. In terms of being confused or misunderstood about a connection of communication. Many of the younger folks go to Social Media to get their news on what is taking place. Even creating groups of Cyberpages of Posts to keep communications open of what is going on.  The older guys as we know, most of them don’t go to Social Media. They get it from word of mouth. And the phones, and the letters, and the paper and partially email. For you older Vets who feel that, you need to reach the younger vets. I think you may need to reach to them of where they are. We know the College Campuses. But what about the hangouts that they go to or organize? Or the Service Projects that they know very well around the community? This is what you need to do I think to reach out. Location! Location! Location! Just my opinion. Even though I’m a Gen-X’er, I’m sampling this from a Millennial that I met recently.

And yes if a young person feels left out after joining up with a club, yes we need to be reminded to them about the issue of being the change. For example, when I was 19 years old (and in college) I joined my Church’s United Methodist Men’s Group. And I was uncomfortable because I didn’t have enough knowledge to understand what does it take to be in the United Methodist Men’s group. I’ve heard about “Since you have been 6 years old, you are already involved with the United Methodist Men.” What kind of ish is that? Technically that didn’t make any sense. And this is was coming from one of the women in the Church! But years later I got the chance to feel comfortable with the men’s group with the right kind of message, goals, and fundraising ideas. Plus my gifts and talents! What I did for the Church, I also did for the United Methodist Men’s group. And now I’m becoming a senior co-chairperson of a secretary for a combined United Methodist Church group. And I’m almost 41. Now I’m telling the group that the need of young folks are in need like your Veterans groups. But I want to warn you Vets: If you want your groups to survive, and I know you want to, YOU need young folks! You many not like all that Texting, or all that Facebook on the Smartphones. Or spending too much time on a Smartphone than a book, or Video Games. But the fact of the matter is, they might be taking over your posts when they get older doing that. Without young folks, Vets the posts that you contribute or donate your time right now,  will die out! And many would be asking, why did this Veterans Club die out? Besides the memberships? Did it have or had youth or young folks being involved? Did the young people or younger members had their concerns at the table? You want that to happen? I’m just saying, is talk to the young vets. Make them feel comfortable about coming into your clubs! You need to do it! And also while you’re doing that give them a reason. Provide some receipts! Just don’t hand them the keys so quick before you check out. Give them the real reason why this is necessary for them to carry on the missions. Young Vets, please get involved with these groups mixed with your own ideas. Be the change! And don’t be afraid to tell them what’s going. Older vets, listen to them what they have to say.  And nowadays, folks need to know what they get themselves into. They need to see EVERY DETAILED INFORMATION of why this is! This is the normal thing right now, and I learned this from my Alumni Groups several years ago of going to a Class Reunion. It’s not just about memories, and it’s not catering to a particular crowd. Just suggesting.

All in all, Veterans this is your day to shine. Enjoy all of the Veterans Days/Occasions as you can. After all, it’s about you! And I say this as a Veteran’s Son! Or should I say, a Vietnam Veteran’s Son.

Once again: THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Stephen

SSP_Thank You Veterans Sign