Honors for veterans remain meaningful decades later

1/9/2017

Veterans who served decades ago are receiving belated thanks.

The opportunity frequently arises to honor veterans from conflicts that took place decades ago. While at first glance it may seem strange to bestow honors on individuals who served 50 years ago or more, these thank-yous remain relevant and appreciated. Service members who have taken risks and made sacrifices for the sake of their country still merit attention and praise for their actions all these years later, especially if the honors given are those that, for whatever reason, were skipped over at the time.

Programs to award veterans can take many forms, some based on which branch of the military individuals belonged to or the conflict in which they participated, others predicated on where the recipients dwell now.

Honoring the OSS
During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services was a vital piece of the intelligence network of the Allies' war effort. Now, 60 years later, those who served in the OSS will receive recognition for their activities. According to Military Times, a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to OSS veterans has now been signed by President Barack Obama, after spending the year passing through both chambers of Congress. The passage of the measure is the culmination of a long campaign to receive particular recognition for the role played by America's World War II spy corps.

The source noted that the bill received support from the OSS Society, a group based in Virginia, along with surviving veterans of the service. The OSS, set up by Gen. William Donovan, carried out daring operations behind enemy lines during the war. OSS officers were responsible for coordinating resistance efforts in Axis-held territories and gathering intelligence in both the European and Asian theaters of war.

Vets receiving care get honors
While the aforementioned act hands out recognition based on veterans' military roles, other programs are being organized by locality. Nevada Fox affiliate KRXI recently highlighted such a program in Nevada. In a series of services across the state, Governor Brian Sandoval has been bestowing honors on veterans who are living in care facilities across the state. The program, Veterans In Care, has thus far identified and offered recognition to more than 500 veterans.

The news source explained that the program's most recent ceremony was held at Five Star Premier care home in Reno. Among the several dozen veterans to receive recognition from the state government was Margaret Allen. At 107 years of age, Allen is one of the oldest living U.S. vets. At the event, the retired service members were given certificates of appreciation from the state and pins to commemorate their service.

It's never too late
As the veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War age, it's important to acknowledge their contributions. Ceremonies conferring honors are good ways to remind these vets that their communities remember all they've given and thank them. Putting such recognition off presents problems, as eventually, it will be too late. Treating yesterday's military personnel well also sets a good precedent, implying that once today's service members have retired and grown older, the country will remember and honor them as well.

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