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Today, Dec. 22, 2011 is the day that the sun begins its journey north again, bringing more length and light to our days. Nature, each year, yearns to be renewed, to bring back the optimism of life and to push back the darkness of the shortened days of winter. It is also the time to celebrate the festival of lights, Hanukkah, and Christmas, when we focus again on Hope and the possibility of Goodness and Beauty in a world that so often seems overwhelmed with despair, evil, and ugliness.
Christmas, though it has become too commercial, still represents joy and giving, and family gatherings over good food, and knowing laughter. This time of year for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines who are serving in lonely posts, in faraway places, in war zones, or at sea, is always difficult. Their families, too, must celebrate this holiday with the painful sense of the empty chair at the table, and with worry for their family member serving the nation far away from home.
We at The Veterans Site want to express our care, our concern, and our respect for our troops and their families this Christmas season. For those who are far away in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan, for those who are presently standing guard along the Korean DMZ , for our Coast Guardsmen and women who stay on duty to guard our shores, to save those in danger at sea, and to interdict the flow of drugs into our country, and for all others in harm’s way, we offer our thoughts, our prayers, and our thanks for all that you do for us.
It is our hope and dream that our troops will return to us safe and sound soon. We also want to remember that those who have returned injured physically and psychologically still need our help, and our commitment to their full recovery, and that we must find work for them when they re-enter civilian life. For The Veterans Site, it is ultimately important that we continue to remember and to serve those veterans who have fallen through the cracks and find themselves homeless and hungry on our streets at this time of year. We want to continue to help feed those in need, but we are also aware that mere survival is not enough. We hope that all of you who have committed to visiting our site each day to hit the “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE!” button will also help our veterans in other ways.
If you have a business and have a job opening, think of hiring one of our returning veterans. They will bring true skills and real discipline to the work. When you see veterans, thank them for their service. If you can think of better ways to serve the homeless, to empower them to reclaim their own dignity and their own lives, volunteer your time and make a difference. That's the kind of thing that is rooted in the real reasons for this season of the year. We can all make a difference if we are aware and engaged. It is true that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Care for another enlarges the care-giver, liberates the one cared for, and makes the world a better place. Join us in the effort to make the world a better place at this time and into the future.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and joy to all.