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April 3, 2015
Voice of Democracy Essay By Katherine Galev
Veterans are a vital part of our nation’s history as well as our future. For who else will go and fight, so that we may all be free? Veterans are the ones who are willing to give up their lives to protect the liberty that Americans have fought to preserve since the founding of this country. Therefore, any nation, whether it be large or small, is dependent on their veteran. The founding fathers were veterans themselves and they have built a lasting constitution upon which this country was established. The constitution is the glue that holds our country together and keeps everyone in line. Without it we would have tyrants and chaos. People need a set of written instructions and guidelines that will withstand future dilemmas. Veterans are the ones who fought to ensure that we can have that privilege. Once soldiers leave the service, they become veterans. But just because they are no longer serving doesn’t mean that we should forget them. In fact, we ought to pay more respect to those who have served as we have very vague ideas about what they go through and what they see. The only other people who know what veterans go through is other veterans. There is very little news about what goes on the battlefield. This is due to confidentiality, but awareness needs to spread. Veterans’ past experiences can be used to help new soldiers who are returning home. People should reach out to veterans because of the great service they have done for this country and its citizens. It is our duty to help them here as they fought for us overseas. Veterans are vital to understanding the past because they were there and experienced the events first hand. For example, George Washington was a general himself in the American Revolution and he used his knowledge of warfare to keep the colonies united when he became president of the nation in 1779. In fact, one of George Washington’s final pieces of advice to the young nation was to avoid war at all costs. The cost of war is not a definite number. War costs a great number of finances and lives and has many side effects that are sometimes not always known initially. To demonstrated, the number of veterans returning to the United States from either Iraq or Afghanistan and developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is about sixty seven percent. Along with PTSD some veterans struggle with alcohol abuse, homelessness and unemployment. It takes about 8,300 dollars to treat a recent veteran for PTSD for the first year. Many also go undiagnosed. Veterans need to have more options to get the counseling they need at a more affordable price. They should not have to face unemployment or homelessness for service they did for us. The Vietnam and Korean Memorials exist to represent those who perished in previous wars, but once veterans return home, they must never be forgotten. Every veteran needs to be recognized and not just on holidays like Veterans’ or Memorial Day. Veterans have voices too, and theirs are the ones who aren’t always heard. They have great insight, perspectives, and advice. After going through war, many veterans would suggest against fighting. However through wars are sometimes inevitable, there are other things that can be done to avoid conflict like these. This may be easier said than done, nonetheless, it is something that will help our nation in the future. Veterans are the key to understanding the past so that we may learn from it and be prepared for whatever the future may bring.

Stu’s Notes:
I was recently invited to attend an dinner by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 1747. The Program for the Evening was “The Voice of Democracy”. I was privileged to hear five students read their essay’s. I told them I would like to print them in this column. Katherine Galev is the only one to get her essay to me, so far. Thank you, Katherine. “The Voice of Democracy Audio Essay Contest” is for students in grades 9-12. Patriot’s Pen is for the students in 6-8 grades. Post 1747 Ladies Auxiliary awards: Voice of Democracy $200- 1st, $175 – 2nd, $150.3rd. Patriot’s Pen for students in grades 6-8 requires students to submit a typed essay of 300-400 words. $100 – 1st, $75-2nd, $50-3rd. . Katherine Galev is a senior at Las Plumas High School. I, as a new founding member of our Men’s Club Veterans of Foreign Wars Men’s Auxiliary of 1747, which to me is quite an honor to join under the fact that my daughter, Sgt Deborah Shaner, Retired is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 1747. She went to the War in Iraq in 2003-2004 and came home with honors. More on this new men’s group soon.
Wine Tasting
Come support the Veterans Memorial Park with Grape Friends Table Mountain Golf Course Present another “Hand in Hand” Enjoy 10 great Red & White Wine varieties, Gourmet Cheese Samples from our Deli Dept., Wine Raffle Prizes, MEGA raffle tickets also available for S.F. Giants Getaway. Cost: $10 per Person for 6 tickets good for 2oz. Sample per ticket, Friday April 17th 5-9pm, Table Mountain Golf Club, 2700 Oro Dam Blvd. Contact Mike at Grocery outlet for more Info 534-3940.