Letter: Thanks to Rep. Walz for recognizing all veterans
By Sgt. Maj. Frank Yoakum, U.S. Army (Retired)Executive Director, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United StatesAlexandria, Va. You don't know me, but I know. You are a fighter. You have values and morals. You do what is right ev...
By Sgt. Maj. Frank Yoakum, U.S. Army (Retired)
Executive Director, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States
You don’t know me, but I know.
You are a fighter. You have values and morals. You do what is right even when no one is looking. You cherish your family. You believe in a just God. You aren’t afraid of hard work or what others say about you. You have tenacity and dependability. You don’t shy away from a fight. You protect your loved ones. And you value the freedoms upon which this country was built, no matter your heritage.
We have the great pleasure and honor of sharing one of your sons who works in our backyard, but only because he represents you to us. He helped us out this year - not only us but hundreds of thousands of military retirees and retirees in years to come.
Because of whom he is and how he was raised, he was instrumental in passing a law to honor National Guard and Reserve retirees as veterans. You see, the law used to say that these reservists, even though they spent over 20 years in the military and retired from their service, were not considered veterans. They trained for war. They were ready to go to war. They didn’t shy away from sacrifice. They just were never called upon to perform that type of duty. No reflection on them - just the luck of the draw. Some serve overseas; some serve stateside. Up to now, they were not called veterans. Now they are.
Our deepest and sincerest thank you to Congressman Tim Walz for his perseverance in helping to honor these military retirees for their service.