Hug a Veteran This Week

By Maria King
11/6/2012 2:36:29 PM

I really should have said 'hug a veteran and active duty person every chance you get,' not just this week. Through the years and wars, America's veterans, while they were active duty members, have answered the call. There has been a lot of focus on the presidential election and rightly so. Just think, however, that this and all of our elections were made possible by our military personnel. Do not even forget the fact that military personnel are not only willing to give their life for their country, but they give up their lives. The sacrifices are more than being on the front lines. They include separation from family and friends, as well as being away from U.S. soil and all of our lifestyle creature comforts. They sacrifice financially as military personnel traditionally are paid nowhere near what they could be making in the general workforce. So why do they do it? Because they feel it is important and worth whatever it takes to make sure that we continue to have free elections along with all of our freedom.

And as in previous years, I am making my pitch this Veterans Day for my readers to give consideration to making a difference in the lives of these wonderful Americans. Think about the difference they have made in yours. The season of giving is fast approaching and I wanted to ask you that if you are planning to give any donations this year, that you seriously consider a donation to the USO. What they do is more than "Bob Hope" type shows. They offer a place for soldiers in transition at airports throughout the world; they deliver care packages to active duty men and woman all over the world. They have free pre-paid phone cards for frontline troops to call home, Mobile Canteens and USO2GO for remote locations to make deliveries and visits to our troops and much more. Also they spend a great deal of time focusing on bringing troops and their loved ones comfort and care. Two of their especially wonderful programs for kids are United Through Reading and The Sesame Street-USO experience. I encourage you to visit their site,, and learn more about these exceptional programs.

I know that times have been tough for so many people these past few years, but I implore you to give the USO a look if you decide to make a charitable contribution this holiday season. Even a small contribution goes a long way. And when you think of the many sacrifices that these men and women have made and are still making, you might find it in your heart to say thanks this way.

So as a show of support this week, hug a veteran and attend a ceremony, parade or festival in your area.

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