Katie Kieffer
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Veterans, we think about you all the time. Sometimes we fail to tell you. Today, on Veteran’s Day, we put our admiration for you into words.

World War II, Korean and Vietnam Veterans

We will start with you. You fought for our freedom. You watched your closest friends fall by your side and you were heartbroken, knowing it could have been you. You shoulder the burden of painful and haunting memories. Many of you have physical wounds; you sacrificed your warrior’s body for us, people you never met. You use a cane or a wheelchair now because of your choice to put us before yourself. We thank you.

Many of you also have another kind of wound; a stinging disappointment as you witness what seems to be a complete disrespect or lack of understanding for your sacrifice. You recently witnessed an administration that tolerated illegal immigrant advocates prancing about the National Mall while you were barred from seeing your war memorials in their full grandeur. The World War II Memorial’s huge centerpiece fountain was turned off during Honor Flight tours and Korean and Vietnam vets were unable to walk through their memorials. Our country built these memorials to honor you and some of you missed your once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them up close. We thank you for your valor in the face of this injustice. Most Americans do appreciate what you do; it is just a few self-centered politicians who can’t get their act together. Please know that you are appreciated.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans

You are tired. You have been deployed repeatedly. You deal with a gigantic, slow-moving bureaucracy as you seek medical care or counseling for your epidemic levels for post-traumatic pain and stress. It concerns us greatly to know that one U.S. service member commits suicide every day. We implore you to hang in there; tomorrow will be a brighter day. You have fought for us and we will fight for you with our pocketbooks (please consider donating to the Wounded Warrior Project), our votes and our voices, to help your post-war lives improve. Terrorist thugs blew up your brothers and sisters with grenades, IEDs and bullets. We cannot grasp the extent of your pain, but we can stand by you. Stay strong; you are our heroes.

Veterans Facing Unjust Disciplinary Action

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Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is a columnist and political commentator. She runs KatieKieffer.com. Kieffer is the author of the forthcoming book "LET ME BE CLEAR."