By Larry Zimmerman
Secretary, SD Department of Veterans Affairs
It’s hard to believe that November is already here. The World Series is over, tailgating is coming to an end, there are long lists of honey do’s to complete before the snow flies, and our taste buds are craving the taste of pumpkin.
November is also a great opportunity for us to thank our veterans who have served. Our country’s military has left a legacy like no other fighting force ever assembled. The uniforms they wear, and the flag they carry, are held in esteem wherever they have served. And that is their finest tribute: Across the world, to people who struggle and suffer, the sight of an American in uniform has meant hope, relief, and deliverance.
Look around your neighborhoods, your local coffee shops, nursing homes, colleges and unfortunately, the streets. South Dakota’s 75,000 veterans who fought for our freedom are everywhere. Seek them out, thank them and ask if you can do anything for them.
Most football teams are made up of 11 players – and it is said that the action of a player who enables a teammate to score is said to be a champion – we want our team of advocates at the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs to be the champion for our veterans. We want to assist them in receiving the benefits they have earned. We encourage them to contact their local veterans service officer and get the ball to the finish line.
While I may not be the first to thank our veterans for their service, I ask each of you to ensure that I’m not the last one who thanks them.
Thank you, veterans! Bless you all and God bless the United States of America!