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Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday is Veterans Day, where we appreciate and celebrate our valued Veterans!

The genesis of Veterans Day

What’s the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?  While both special days are geared around honoring Veterans, Memorial Day, in May, honors men and women who died while serving in the military.  Veterans Day, in November, celebrates all who have served in the Armed Forces.

Why was November 11th selected as the day to honor Veterans?  A cease-fire was declared in WWI on the 11th day of the 11th month, at the 11th hour.  In 1954, Congress amended the act that made Armistice Day a holiday in 1938.  The amendment included honoring Veterans from WWII and the Korean War, and “Armistice” was replaced with “Veterans”.  Now, every November 11th, we celebrate Veterans Day!

Why limit our celebration to one day?  On November 1, 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation designating the whole month of November as National Veterans and Military Families Month.  “I encourage all communities, all sectors of society, and all Americans to acknowledge and honor the service, sacrifices, and contributions of veterans and military families for what they have done and for what they do every day to support our great Nation,” President Trump said.

How can I honor a Veteran today?

Every day is a great day to honor a Veteran!  What can you do?

  • Fly an American Flag
  • Take a Veteran out for a meal. Many restaurants give free food to Veterans on Veterans Day, including Little Caesars Pizza, IHOP, and Olive Garden.  See here for a complete list.
  • Attend a parade to honor and thank a Veteran
  • Have a job opening? Consider hiring a Veteran!
  • Donate your frequent flyer miles to Hero Miles to benefit Veterans and their families
  • Volunteer your time at The Fisher House
  • Call a Veteran friend or family member to catch up and thank them for their service
  • Wear a Buddy Poppy

What is the biggest news affecting Veterans in 2018?

Without a doubt, the new VA rules, which became effect October 18, 2018 were the biggest news affecting Veterans this year.  Why did the VA institute these new rules?  Before these new rules were made, the VA offered little guidance on how they determined if an applicant was “in need”.  There were vague definitions and limited explanations of who would qualify for these benefits, which led to confusion among applicants and inconsistent determinations of eligibility.  Now that the VA has issued clear and bright-line rules, attorneys can better advise their clients and their families, and the integrity and consistency of the pension program is upheld.

What are the new rules?  There is now a bright-line net worth limit and a 3-year look back period, to name a few.  We have numerous resources on the new rules, including an Advanced VA Pension Planning webinar and a whitepaper.

Without Veterans, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the freedoms and privileges that we do today.  Veterans fought to further our American values and ideals, and to ensure we are safe in an ever-changing world.  Make sure you honor each Veteran that you can, and show your appreciation for their bravery, honor, and sacrifice.  Get involved in community efforts that effect Veterans.  Every dollar donated and every hour volunteered helps.  Hug a Veteran today!