The Auxiliary's View... 

by Joyce Thornton-Gilbert

During 64th Convention day trip, Region IV Field Service Representative Bob Malak and BVAA National Vice President Pat Grant prepare to take off in The Spruce Goose, the world’s largest wooden airplane. Photo courtesy of Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, Portland, Oregon.
During 64th Convention day trip, Region IV Field Service Representative Bob Malak and BVAA National Vice President Pat Grant prepare to take off in The Spruce Goose, the world’s largest wooden airplane. Photo courtesy of Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, Portland, Oregon.

If your mindset is anything like mine, the year has flown by. It seems impossible to think that Veterans Day has come and gone with such velocity. I hope that many of you out there were able to celebrate the day in some way, whether it be just thinking of veterans or actually getting out and participating in a ceremony, reception, or flag-raising.

Each time Veterans Day rolls around, I find myself wondering if the general American citizenry knows what veterans have done and if anyone really cares at all. My experience in trying to educate and promote the cause of veterans tells me that many of us take veterans for granted and do not take the time to reflect on the sacrifices they have made that directly benefit us and preserve our way of life.

This is often a source of discouragement for me. Even so, there are a few out there who really do care and are making a difference now.

There are those who volunteer at VA Medical Centers. There are those who assist with White Cane Day activities. And there are those who are out helping a veteran almost every day with phone calls, the running of errands, or the sharing of basic necessities.

Although I have mentioned this couple before, I once again point to the example of Bill and Nancy Geden. Their homegrown food pantry client list consisting of veterans and their families in Citrus County, Florida, now numbers in the several hundred. Theirs is a mission that requires service on a daily basis.

Let us not become discouraged by those who are not interested in making a difference. We have no right to complain about them when we ourselves could do much better. At this special time of the year, please make an extra effort to brighten the holiday season for a veteran or two. Please wish them, as I am wishing you now, the Merriest of Christmases, a most Happy Hanukkah, a very Joyous Kwanzaa, and a New Year of great promise and prosperity.