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Salute a Veteran

Dear Bay Weekly:

Every year on November 11, a grateful nation honors and recognizes more than 23.4 million living veterans.

While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones, on Veterans’ Day Americans pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call. Participation in Veterans’ Day can be as simple as placing the American flag on your porch or reminding youngsters about friends and relatives who served in the military.

This Veterans’ Day, I encourage you to do more. If you know a veteran, consider saying thank you for his or her service. If you know veterans not taking advantage of their VA health care benefits or struggling with a physical or emotional problem, reassure them that help is only a phone call away.

It is surprising how many veterans are not aware of their eligibility for VA health care or how the VA can assist them. They can get assistance by visiting us online at www.maryland.va.gov or by calling our Eligibility & Enrollment Center at 1-800-463-6295 x. 7324. 

At the VA’s Veterans’ Day web page (www.va.gov/opa/vetsday) find a variety of resources, including a teacher’s guide, a poster gallery, a patriotic fact sheet and a history of Veterans’ Day.

–Dennis H. Smith. Director: VA Maryland Health Care System