As the first President of the United States George Washington who led us through the Battle of Trenton and the Siege of Yorktown once said, “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.” The reason we celebrate Veteran’s Day is to recognize the pride in country it takes to inadvertently “sign their life” away for all on the dotted line for a country that may or may not love them back for it. They know their service comes at a cost, but they chose to do it anyway to preserve and protect this free nation that has endured since July 4th, 1776.
Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’” We were made to be like those men and women in uniform and to serve everyone around us even with nothing but love because that is the model Jesus relayed to his disciples and all the people he met in the region. From the day He began his ministry in Galilee to the minute he died up on the cross in Golgotha continuing today through the Great Commission to all the corners of the globe, we were not meant to be mere spectators, but participants in a greater Mission that He has for all of our lives.
Unfortunately for a lot of veterans, if they are one of the fortunate few to come home, their battle did not end on the battlefield. According to the VA (Veterans Affairs), as many as “11-20 out of every 100 who served in ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ and ‘Enduring Freedom’” suffer from debilitating trauma the rest of their lives. From something as ordinary as getting a job to buying an apartment or house, the complications of what they experience preclude them integrating smoothly into society because of all the different situations that bring them back to the warzone in everyday life.
Here at Catholic Charities, we believe it is of the utmost importance that everybody should have a place they call home. A home is where people feel most safe and at peace and the positive effects it has on their financial, spiritual, mental, and physical lives are absolutely life changing. That is why last year, Catholic Charities was so blessed to provide $210,000 in rent and utility assistance through the rapid re-housing program (temporary deposit and rental assistance) and through the program 85% of the veterans that participated were successfully housed and of those 85%, 93% of them were able to still stay in their homes six months after the completion of the program. Some of the other services that we provide, but are not limited to, are housing case management, emergency assistance, employment services, one-on-one counseling, social security benefit assistance, and other assistance with resources and referrals. Here at Catholic Charities our motto is “To Serve and to Lift” and we want every veteran to know they are as loved and cared for in our eyes as they are cherished and valued in the Father’s eyes every day.
Happy Veteran’s Day everybody!