Craig On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, an American flag, of any size, should have been displayed outside every home, apartment, office and store in the United States.
Every individual should have made it his or her duty to display an American flag on the sixth anniversary of our country's worst tragedy.
We should have done, and continue to do this, in honor of those who lost their lives Sept. 11, and for their families, friends and loved ones, who continue to endure the pain; and those servicemen and women, who today, are stationed at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
During 2001, in the days, weeks and months following Sept. 11, our country was bathed in American flags as residents mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it should not take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail against terrorism of all kinds.
New guidance on saluting the flag
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla) praised the passage by unanimous consent of his bill clarifying U.S. law to allow veterans and servicemen not in uniform to salute the flag. Current law states that veterans and servicemen not in uniform should place their hand over their heart without clarifying whether they can or should salute the flag.
"The salute is a form of honor and respect, representing pride in one's military service," Inhofe said. "Veterans and service members continue representing the military services even when not in uniform.
"Unfortunately, current U.S. law leaves confusion as to whether veterans and service members out of uniform can or should salute the flag. My legislation will clarify this regulation, allowing veterans and servicemen alike to salute the flag, whether they are in uniform or not.
"I look forward to seeing those who have served saluting proudly at baseball games, parades, and formal events. I believe this is an appropriate way to honor and recognize the 25 million veterans in the United States who have served in the military and remain as role models to others citizens. Those who are currently serving or have served in the military have earned this right, and their recognition will be an inspiration to others."
Disabled veteran education benefits
Across the nation various institutes of higher learning are establishing programs to assist severely wounded vets from the Iraqi war (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF) to afford an opportunity for a higher education.
Programs at Dartmouth College and the University of Idaho's program "Operation Education" were featured in the September issue of the VFW Magazine. Several other universities offer scholarships for wounded veterans.
Those include Texas A&M University, the University of Wyoming and the University of Nebraska. Each program has its own specific criteria for enrollment including state residency. Most of the programs start with an individualized college counseling on college admission processes which is a part of the two-year pilot program; Severely Injured Military Veterans: fulfilling Their Dreams, sponsored by the American Council on Education [ACE] and VAMC centers like Walter Reed Army Medical center. If you are, or know, a severely injured veteran from these war theaters contact the ACE for more details and opportunities in your respective state.
Vietnam Wall defaced in Washington D.C.
I received an e-mail Tuesday that the wall in Washington was defaced this past weekend.
Person or persons unknown sprayed an oil based solution onto the East wall and although the National Park Service steam cleaned the areas, the success of the initial cleaning is in doubt as the oil has penetrated the stone. There is visual footage on the www.youtube.com Web site.
For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only. Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.