On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1919, the guns stopped firing and the Great War ended. On that day, the First Armistice Day, the Allies and the Germans signed the armistice that ended “the war to end all wars.”
It wasn’t until the second global war that we started assigning numbers to them, and “the war to end all wars” became “World War I,” the first of two.
Today we call that first Armistice Day “Veterans Day” (in other parts of the world, it’s “Remembrance Day”). The purpose of this day is not to celebrate war; it’s to honor all those who have served bravely in our armed forces.
And part of honoring them is ensuring that they have a place in our society when their service is done. In acknowledgement of their sacrifice for our country, our veterans deserve, at the very least, a place to call home, gainful employment, and treatment for the wounds of war.
That may not seem like much to ask for our nation’s heroes, but it hasn’t always been there for them.
At the Alliance, we are grateful for all that has been done for our veterans, but we know that there are still many out there who still need our help, men and women who have found themselves living on the very streets they were sworn to defend.
Veteran homelessness is not a simple problem. Its causes and complications are myriad and varied. But, as complex as a problem is, we are making progress.
Fortunately, today’s administration and congress have worked together to the nation’s obligations to our veterans. There have been employment programs and policies, veteran health care reform, home ownership incentives, and more.
There have been new programs funded, old programs re-tooled, data collected and analyzed. Indeed the goal of ending veteran homelessness is in sight.
As many of us enjoy a three day weekend, I urge you to thank a veteran in your life for their service and contribute to one of the many worthy causes that continue to make veteran homelessness a thing of the past.