November is the month that we in America celebrate three significant events. Veterans Day, November 11th is a day that was originally called Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War 1, the “war to end all wars”. It has evolved into a day when all veterans from all wars are now honored and many businesses give free meals to veterans, many communities host Veteran’s Day parades to honor those who have worn the uniform defending this country against all enemies. It is a day when we who have served receive some level of appreciation back.
Additionally, November is the month that we celebrate Thanksgiving. This holiday is steeped in tradition surrounding family, a traditional meal together and a remembrance of the difficulties that the early pilgrims endured upon arrival in this country seeking freedom from religious persecution.
Finally, November 10th is the Birthdate for the United States Marine Corps. Semper Fi to all of you who served.
I wish all of you an exceptionally proud Veteran’s Day where you can accept the appreciation of a grateful nation and move around within your community because we are free because each of you wore that uniform. Thank you! I also hope that you have a warm family type Thanksgiving celebration either with your family or dear friends. No matter how dysfunctional it seems like at times, we still have an ample supply of things to be grateful for in this country. Even on our worst day, we are still better off than much of the world.
The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) is our mechanism for affecting positive change for those who have served and those currently serving and their families. One voice by itself can quickly be drowned out and ultimately have no effect. By gathering input from our membership, NCOA can act as a conduit to join multiple inputs and then join together as part of the Military Coalition to have your concerns addressed by the powers that be.
Some future issues that need to be addressed are ensuring that when our troops return from combat that they are properly decompressed, evaluated and trained on how to cope with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries. The suicide rate for veterans is significantly higher than non-veterans and that is unacceptable. Divorce rates for combat veterans are extremely high (80-85%). If a service person goes into combat and when they come home can’t communicate with their families that is a problem which needs to be addressed.
Another area of concern is that transitioning from the military requires more that being taught how to fill out a resume. A better job needs to be done in the area of certifications and credentialing and making those certifications and credentials universally acceptable. Employers want employees with skills and one of the measuring factors that they look for are certifications and credentials. We need to find a way to make these tools for seeking employment acceptable in all 50 states.
Let me know what you think and if this is something that you feel NCOA should take on.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.
Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,
MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors