red, white, and blue star with initials B V A

My Fellow BVA Members: 

I have a question for you to contemplate on the eve of this most significant holiday: What exactly is Veterans Day and what does it mean to us, our families, our fellow veterans, and our fellow citizens everywhere? 

Veterans Day is a day that has been set aside by the country to recognize certain unique sacrifices made by a select group of citizens, our veterans. The sacrifices originate from a choice to serve, a choice carved out of a sense of duty and a desire to protect and defend the liberty of all who reside in the United States of America. The result is a nation that has preserved freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom to reside wherever one wishes within the country.

Veterans Day is also a celebration of family, friends, faith, and hope. Let’s examine each one and determine why they are so special to us.

FAMILY, which includes fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, sons, daughters, and cousins.

This is a day on which we celebrate the choices that many family members have made recently or many years ago, a choice to serve the country and a choice to acknowledge the idea that freedom is not free. Freedom comes at a cost. That cost is sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears.

Our families are winners because of the conscious decision we as members of the Blinded Veterans Association have all made to serve. Although many of us came away from our service physically and mentally hurt, our survival can help us enrich our communities. You and I are the backbone of this country. Our combined experiences are to be shared with the world so that future generations can learn from them. Remember that ours is a disability that cannot be seen at first, but we have nothing to be ashamed of. Our biological and BVA families will always support us. 

FRIENDS, the persons with whom relationships have been created and nurtured, both during and after service.

FAITH, a deep-rooted feeling about a Divine Being. Regardless of our religion, we practice our faith as free women and men. Our service to this country has guaranteed our freedom to pray without fear of being prosecuted, fear of ridicule, and fear of being ostracized. Your service and mine have guaranteed that we have the right to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience.

HOPE, the feeling of optimism that the best is yet to come in our communities and in our nation. That optimism should be felt perhaps as much on Veterans Day as on any other day. We cherish the sacrifices that have preserved our freedom and way of life. While sacrifice is never sought, we have every reason to believe that these sacrifices would be willingly placed upon the altar once again if necessary.   

To all of you in my larger circle of family and friends, many of whom are my BVA family, may you be granted faith and hope on this Veterans Day 2022 and always. Enjoy your day. Thank you for your sacrifice of service.