Letter: Thank you, veterans, for your service

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The solemn tradition of honoring those who secured for us the peace and freedom we enjoy traces its roots back to the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month — the precise time and date of the armistice that ended World War I. Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” It marked the end of the most destructive and far-reaching war in history and signified the resumption of peaceful relations between the United States and other nations. Originally referred to as Armistice Day, it became Veterans Day following World War II.

Today, there are 19.6 million living American veterans. They are our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, our aunts and uncles, our children and our neighbors. The Western North Carolina VA Health Care System joins all Americans today in celebrating our nation’s veterans for their patriotism, selflessness, courage and sacrifices. We cherish this day as an opportunity to pause and reflect, remember and honor the brave veterans and active-duty personnel who have served or still serve our country in uniform.

This is my second Veterans Day celebration in Western North Carolina, and I am extremely proud to lead a team of dedicated, compassionate and talented professionals to accomplish the noblest mission of all — honoring America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. We take pride in our duty to ensure that our commitments to our veterans and their families are fulfilled. In other words, we believe that every day is Veterans Day.

To all veterans, I want to say thank you on behalf of our entire organization for your service to our country and for all that you and your loved ones have done to guarantee our freedom and way of life. I also thank you for entrusting us with your health care needs. Whether you receive your care at Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville or at one of our community-based outpatient clinics in Franklin, Hickory or Rutherford County, please know how much you are appreciated and how honored and privileged we are to serve you.

— Stephanie Young
Director, Western North Carolina VA Health Care System
Asheville

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