Thank You, Service Members and Veterans
“Thank you for your service.” It’s a very simple statement, one our service members and veterans have been hearing since September 11th, 2001. A lot of them will take the thanks gracefully, and some of them humbly. For as long as the United States is a free nation, the honor is all theirs.
There’s a saying you hear about those who wear the uniform in defense of their nation: “All gave some. Some gave all.” The heartbreak of a loved one never returning from battle haunts spouses and families, the emptiness their absence leaves behind weighs heavy on their brothers-in-arms left behind, and the solace that our fallen heroes are in a better place now is a bittersweet solace. Yet, even that is more comforting than the many hundreds of service members whose status is unknown, “Missing In Action,” especially from the Korean War and Vietnam.
While many have made the supreme sacrifice, many people don’t know of or witness the small sacrifices that are part of everyday life for our men and women in uniform. Many troops come back wounded or injured, both physically and mentally. Many have hard time readjusting to civilian life upon their return. Their families sacrifice, too. Grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, and family friends all pitch in to help with raising the kids, getting them to school, and babysitting occasionally while dad or mom is on deployment. Even in peacetime, it’s a tough slog. Anyone who’s ever been a “military brat” knows the seemingly endless cycle of moving and changing schools and jobs every year or two.
“All gave some. Some gave all.” It is not just a responsibility, but a commitment our elected leaders must make everyday to honor the real and lasting sacrifices our service members and veterans make every day for their nation. Sen. Carla Nelson is a public servant devoted to honoring those sacrifices.
“Freedom is a precious thing, preserved with the blood of Patriots. We must hold it dear,” said Sen. Nelson. “I have the greatest admiration and thanks for the men and women who wear the uniform, and who are willing to put their very lives on the line to protect my freedoms. It is our duty to teach our youth about freedom and its cost.”
In her first term in the Minnesota State Senate, Sen. Nelson voted to increase veterans’ benefits and tax deductions in the budgets for FY 2013 through 2015. Sen. Nelson votes helped reinstate funding for the military pension tax deduction, the military pension credit for past service, and the credit for military service in a combat zone increase. “We must always honor our veterans and their service. That is why I worked to maintain these benefits and deductions that aid our veterans in making ends meet, especially our disabled veterans,” Sen. Nelson said. “Many people think only the federal Department of Veterans Affairs helps our returning heroes, but our state government here in Minnesota is likewise grateful for their service and sacrifice, and we want to do everything in our power to assist them.”
Sen. Nelson previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, from 2003 to 2005. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and is an associate member of the Marine Corp League.
Veterans needing access to VA medical benefits can contact the local VA Outpatient Clinic in Rochester at 3900 55th Street, N.W., Tel: (507) 252-0885. Veterans can contact the Minnesota State Department of Veterans Affairs by clicking here.