Thank a vet today and every day

Joseph A. Jastrzemski

Each year on November 11th, Veterans Day, we honor the men and women who have served the United States of America and who answered the call to defend our great nation. The United States rose to greatness on the strength of their service. Their stories are woven into the fabric of our nation's history.

Close to 19 million veterans are alive today, 1 million of whom have been wounded; 30% have disabilities and have received treatment for battlefield injuries, along with mental trauma as a result of their service; 60% are service men and women under the age of 34.

Since 1776, there were nearly 2 million men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in combat. We know them as our fathers and mothers, our family members or, perhaps, our next-door neighbors. Whether they served in times of war or peace, all veterans share a common bond: their belief in the cause of freedom. It's a belief so strong that they are willing to give their lives, if need be, in defense of our great nation.

Here in Niagara County, there are more than 15,000 veterans who have risked their lives to protect us. As Americans, we all must take the time to honor and thank them for their service.

Events are planned throughout Niagara County to honor these men and women for their patriotism, for the love of our country and willingness to serve and sacrifice. I encourage all Niagara County residents to take time to honor and celebrate the heroism and courage of our local veteran community. You can do so by attending a veterans event in your community or by simply displaying an American flag outside your home.

At the Niagara County Clerk's Office, we proudly pay tribute to our veterans 365 days a year through our "Thank-A-Vet" discount card program. I would like to remind veterans, if they haven't already filed their DD214 honorable discharge papers, to do so and receive the Thank-A-Vet discount card. Presently there are 493 businesses, both large and small, in the county that are registered in the program, thus giving valuable discounts on goods and services to deserving veterans. We continue to add participating businesses to the Thank-A-Vet program and I strongly encourage any interested business owner to enlist and join us in "thanking" our veteran community here in Niagara County.

In closing, when a veteran puts their discharge papers on file with the Niagara County Clerk's Office, it will ensure the document's safety and they can obtain complimentary certified copies hassle-free, for any veteran or their loved ones when needed. We also issue the "Thank-A-Vet" photo ID card thus giving our heroes the real benefit of potentially saving thousands of dollars while patronizing local participating businesses. The business also benefits by assisting a veteran and earning the loyalty of a new or existing customer.

Veterans are welcome to visit the Niagara County Clerk's Office, located at 175 Hawley St., Lockport, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Business owners can learn more about the Thank-A-Vet program by calling 716-439-7022.

Joseph A. Jastrzemski is the Niagara County Clerk.

Trending Video

Recommended for you