1937_Spring_Irene and Frank GilliamVeterans Day, which became a national holiday in 1938, is a day to recognize the contributions of the nation’s veterans.

My uncle Frank Gilliam died in World Word II in the Battle of the Bulge. My aunt Irene had difficulties in her life after his death. That’s a photo of him to the left with my aunt.

When I went to the doctor’s office Thursday, I was talking with the nurse who did my EKG about much we liked visiting Europe. She asked if I was stationed there. I told her I visited often because my daughter and her family live in Madrid.

She told me about how she and her husband were stationed in Europe three times. Her favorite places to visit were the Czech Republic and Spain.

I asked if her family is now settled in the Olympia area. She replied that, yes, her family is settled now but it’s because her husband died in battle in Afghanistan.

As I told how sorry I was for her loss, I looked down at her arm as she unhooked the leads to the EKG. She had a tattoo of a man on her forearm. I asked if that was her husband; she said yes.

What a sorrowful reminder of how much war affects American families.

My hope and prayer for Veterans Day is that this country will do a better job of helping its veterans.

If elected officials are going to make the decision to send young people to wars, our country needs to do more to assist them when they return. Time and time again the federal government has failed. Veterans and their allies have had to fight to get adequate health care, mental health care, and nursing home care. For example, veterans have had to fight to get care due to exposure to toxins such as Gulf War-related exposures, Agent Orange, radiation, Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure, and others.

In his proclamation on Veterans Day, President Joe Biden said he that takes seriously “the sacred obligation to prepare and equip our service members when we send them into harm’s way and to care for them and their families when they return home.”

Let’s hope that he and Congress will do a better job of helping veterans and their families in our country after they have given so much.

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Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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