Editorial: Veteran’s Day should encourage year-round respect

 UConn's Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs holds its annual Veterans Day ceremony at The Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial outside of the Wilbur Cross building on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. (Judah Shingleton, Staff Photographer/The Daily Campus)

UConn's Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs holds its annual Veterans Day ceremony at The Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial outside of the Wilbur Cross building on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. (Judah Shingleton, Staff Photographer/The Daily Campus)

This past Sunday was Veteran’s Day, and as always we should use this time to remember and be grateful for those who have served our country and continue to do so to this day. Each year, the University of Connecticut observes this holiday with a ceremony on the Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial lawn in order to continue to honor the veterans in our lives, especially those affiliated with the university. The ceremony is open to the entire community, and those not connected to the military are still encouraged to attend.

It is without a doubt important to honor to the nearly 21 million veterans who have served our country during Veteran’s Day, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it seems fitting that we continue to give our thanks to these members of society. However, Veteran’s Day also should serve as a reminder to us that while appreciation and gratitude towards these individuals is always welcome, our veterans are often an underappreciated group in society. Our country values the fact that we have such a strong military, yet it often forgets that to have such a strong force, we must have strong individuals who comprise it.

Due to this, there are many issues that veterans face when reintegrating after their military service has ended, even many years later. While people are often aware that many veterans face mental health issues and stigma when returning from service, they are often only aware of how it is portrayed in the media rather than what it is actually like for veterans. In truth, there are many more issues that face veterans in today’s society that we don’t typically think about. For example, approximately 10 percent of America’s homeless population is made up of veterans. This may not be an issue that many people recognize at first, but it is clearly a topic that affects many veterans. Instead of only thinking about and honoring our veterans one day a year, we should be trying to thank them every day by lessening the burden of returning from military service and helping to alleviate these issues.

On Veteran’s Day, we should strive to think not only about the service that our country’s veterans provided, but of the hardships they face even in today’s society. This group of people is integral to our functioning as a country, and they deserve to get more recognition than what is granted to them one day a year. We should continue to thank and help our veterans on Veteran’s Day but also aim to do so the other 364 days of the year.