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As we celebrate Veterans Day Thursday, Nov. 11, let’s take time to recognize the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in the United States armed forces.

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day as major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

The holiday differs from Memorial Day, which honors those who died during their service.

Despite your political affiliations, thanking veterans is one thing we must all agree on. Our veterans did not serve red or blue, they fought for the freedom of the entire nation, which we still enjoy today.

Some who served are now part of our most vulnerable population due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also likely to suffer from depression or other mental health issues.

If you know a veteran who may be struggling, you can refer them to the Texas Veterans Mental Health Department which provides military trauma-informed training and technical assistance to create greater awareness of and access to mental health and employment resources.

Military trauma-affected service members often have difficulty accessing timely mental health resources due to factors, which include; an individual’s difficulty in recognition of their mental health needs, lack of resources available upon recognition of mental health needs, difficulty accessing mental health resources, and a lack of community-level awareness of military-related traumas resulting in mental health conditions.

The Texas Veterans Commission also offers Veterans Employment Services which assists veterans with finding long-term and meaningful employment by conducting job matching services for employers and providing individualized career services to Veterans with significant barriers to employment at American Job Centers, VA facilities, and military installations throughout Texas.

There are many ways to express gratitude. You could attend a local event, buy a veteran a meal or cup of coffee or just offer a simple salute or “thank you for your service.”

The most important thing is to let our veterans know their sacrifice is appreciated has not been forgotten.

On the Net:

Texas Vetrans Commsion

www.tvc.texas.gov

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