Saluting Those Who Have Honorably Served
Every year, Nov. 11 marks Veterans Day in our country. Observed on the anniversary of the end of World War I, Veterans Day honors everyone who has bravely and honorably served in our nation’s military. These men and women are our heroes, and I truly believe each of us owe them a debt of gratitude. It doesn’t matter if a veteran served during a time of war or peace, each of them did their part to keep our country safe. Like many of you, I know countless veterans. Whether they served in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq or any other conflict, each of them served in their own unique way, and I could not be more grateful for their service and sacrifice to our country.
According to the Missouri Veterans Commission, there are more than 479,000 veterans living in Missouri. In addition, Missouri is home to more than 17,000 active duty military members. While these men and women play a vital role in the defense of our county and its citizens, they also have an incredible impact on our state’s economy. A recent study submitted to the Office of the Missouri Military Advocate found that in Fiscal Year 2018, the military had a nearly $30 billion economic impact on our state. The same report indicated that the military supports more than 180,000 direct and indirect jobs in our state, representing more than six percent of our state’s workforce. However, our state’s military community is more than just a handful of bases, these men and women are our neighbors, family members and more — they are an invaluable part of our state.
If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran, the Missouri Veterans Commission is an outstanding resource when it comes to accessing state and federal benefits entitled to veterans. The commission also provides important information to help families navigate the application process when it comes to finding their loved one a new home in one of our state’s seven veterans homes.
Veterans Day provides each of us with an opportunity to show our appreciation to the men and women who have bravely served our country. Each of them put their life on the line to protect our freedoms and our nation’s way of life. Many of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans are due to the sacrifices of those willing to be a part of the nation’s armed services. I believe our state is stronger because of the veterans and active duty military men and women who call it home. Every veteran is a hero, and I am so incredibly thankful for everything they have done to protect and serve our great nation. God bless the troops, and all those who have honorably served our country.
It is an honor to be your state senator, and my door is always open to your concerns, questions or comments. Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-2757 or visit my web page at www.senate.mo.gov/riddle.