Veterans deserve praise and gratitude

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 11, 2005

On behalf of the Alabama State Board and Department of Veteran’s Affairs, I would like to wish everyone a memorable Veterans Day. This is a day set aside by both our National and State Government to honor those who served the country in times of great peril or need.

Those whom we call veterans served and sacrificed greatly to defend our nation’s freedom as well as our friends and allies on distant shores who could not defend themselves.

Governor Bob Riley has signed a Veterans Day Proclamation expressing the gratitude and heartfelt support of our proud state.

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The following is one of the paragraphs governor riley penned in his proclamation:

“let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage for freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and ensuring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain”.

It is crystal clear that our leadership at all levels care deeply about America’s veterans and are committed to ensuring they are both recognized and receive all eligible benefits for which they sacrificed so greatly.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs was formed in 1945 and was designed with veterans in mind.

The department works in concert with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide for the needs of our veterans and their eligible family members, widows and orphans.

To help meet these needs and provide dedicated medical services to our veteran population, Alabama is home to four V. A. Medical Centers which are located in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Tuskegee.

For those eligible veterans requiring long term skilled nursing care, the State of Alabama has three State Veterans Homes which are located in Alexander City (Bill Nichols), Bay Minette (William F. Green) and Huntsville (Floyd E. “Tut” Fann).

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs is divided into six districts throughout the state.

Within each district, our Veterans Service Officers provide claims assistance and benefit counseling coverage for all 67 counties in the State of Alabama.

These service experts are usually located in the county courthouse or nearby.

Again, on behalf of the great State of Alabama, I want to thank all veterans for their service.

I encourage all citizens to attend local events honoring our veterans that returned as well as those who did not following their service and sacrifice.

Please seek out the veterans in your neighborhood, organization or work place and thank them for their tremendous service to a proud state and grateful nation.

I am exceptionally proud to be an American, Alabamian and a veteran.

As the Commissioner for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I am committed to every single veteran and carrying out our mission.

The mission of the SDVA is to be an innovative, professional and dynamic organization that consistently exceeds statutory and moral obligations in serving those who served our grateful nation.