Editorial Cartoon

First and foremost, we would like to thank Betsy Layne’s Landon Tackett for his service in the U.S. Army.

Tackett recently returned home from being stationed overseas, including in Afghanistan, and was celebrated with an event put on by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3769 in Pikeville at Texas Roadhouse on Sunday.

Tackett deserves thanks and our support for the sacrifices he has made and continues to make in order to ensure a future for this nation.

Since the time of the founders, our country has relied on a steady stream of military personnel to foster our peace and safety. For nearly 250 years, countless soldiers — volunteers and conscripts — have bravely protected us from tyranny, from invasion, from forces that would have us rendered desolated.

These brave men and women have selflessly given to our nation with their bodies, their hearts and their souls. With their very lives, they have given us a set of freedoms that form our society.

And, often, they go forgotten.

Often, these brave men and women find themselves alone in their struggles — to assimilate back into general society, to obtain the healthcare and educational opportunities promised to them, to simply be understood by the society at large.

On Veterans Day and at times like Tackett’s welcome home event, we spend the time recognizing them through ceremonies and words of thanks. And that’s important. It’s vital that we, as a nation, take dedicated time to thank them.

However, it’s also necessary that we dedicate time to thanking and supporting our nation’s veterans year-round.

No veteran should have to wonder whether the promises made to get them to sign up are going to be kept, whether a nation is willing to show its gratitude not only through ceremonial events, but also in real, tangible ways that improve the lives of those who’ve served.

Organizations like the VFW work to make sure veterans aren’t forgotten, that the promises made to them are fulfilled. But they cannot stand alone. Their voices simply aren’t loud enough alone. 

They need us, the general public to join the chorus of veterans demanding that the nation fulfill the promises that were made when they agreed to put everything on the line.

We must stand alongside veterans, just like and including Landon Tackett, and help ensure that the promises which were made to them are kept. We must be their voices when their voices alone aren’t enough. We must let them know they are not alone, that their sacrifices were not in vain.

They made a promise to protect us, a promise that could have cost them their lives. 

Now it’s our job to ensure our side of the obligation is kept.

And that’s not just a one-day job, or a one-time job — that’s an everyday effort.

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