October 2001/November 2001
The Challenge of a New Battlefield
By Thomas Corey
On this Veterans Day, it is especially important for our nation
to recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of America's
veterans. America's sons and daughters have always answered
the call to duty. By recognizing those who served, we are
sending a clear message to those serving today: We will remember
you and your service.
Today our sons and daughters and fellow Vietnam veterans face
the challenge of a new battlefield, a new enemy, and a new call to
duty. We will not let them be forgotten today, or upon their
return, as others were. We know the importance of a grateful
This November 11, two months from the day our national soul was
wounded, we will gather in communities and pay tribute in our own
ways, some quietly, some with patriotic music and flags, to the
men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United
States. We will also remember those who were killed, many of
whom were veterans, by terrorist forces in the war at home.
As September 11 unfolded, many of us relived scenes from Pearl
Harbor, scenes of suicide aircraft attacks, and the Tet Offensive,
during which we were being attacked in many locations at the same
time. As veterans we were aware of what was coming. It
had come home and we were not safe or secure. This enemy
does not distinguish between military and civilian targets, and
sadly, we are all at risk. We must help each other and our
neighbors face this new war. Our military experience can
help us advise others and can be extremely valuable in calming
their fears. Veterans are playing their role "In Service To
America." In this issue, you will read about a few of them.
I know that we are all out there helping.
As veterans, each of us has pledged to preserve, protect, and
defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
Many have given their lives in support of that pledge, and we have
not failed in our responsibility to remember them and live as
examples of their service and sacrifice. We will continue to
fulfill our pledge, now, as citizens trained to defend our
This Veterans Day we must also rededicate ourselves to our
Founding Principle and recognize that once again these words are
meaningful and necessary--Never Again Will One Generation Of
Veterans Abandon Another.
We have an obligation as veterans and citizens to witness the
manner in which our veterans and military casualties are treated.
We must raise our voices in praise if merited and in objection
Vietnam Veterans of America has devoted 23 years to correcting
the wrongs in a system that was collapsing. Vietnam veterans
experienced first-hand a level of care that was inadequate at best
and indifferent at worst.
We challenged and helped change a system that had failed in its
mission, and we continue to press for additional resources to
address the critical needs. Our job is to assure the VA
health-care delivery and benefits system for our veterans and
military are adequate today and tomorrow.
The Secretary of the Department of Veterans, Anthony J.
Principi, knows where we stand on these and other important
issues. Since he assumed office we have expressed our
opinions about the VA and its shortcomings. He has responded
with action and promises. We have advised Secretary Principi
of our concern about the VA's role as the backup for DOD to
provide the necessary care and treatment for those men and women
in service who will become casualties of this new war.
This nation must not fail in its responsibility to its
veterans. We will continue to be very clear with everyone,
from our elected officials to the voters. When the
administration and Congress are increasing funding for critical
agencies and pouring billions into industries, they must remember
those who served and those who are serving by being equally
generous and providing ample and adequate funding to the DVA.
Veterans earned their rights, and this country needs to fulfill
"To Care for Him Who Has Borne The Battle, and His Widow and
Let us keep our thoughts and prayers with the young men and
women who have volunteered to defend the nation and our interests
and have embarked on a lifetime of service to America. God
Bless those serving and those who have lost their lives to this
We will not let you be forgotten.
Peace Be With You.