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Bringing A Soldier All The Way Home.

December 29, 2010

This January not only brings in the new year but also the return of 17,000 soldiers, most from the 101st Airborne Division, to Fort Campbell, Tennessee. The town of Clarksville, Tennessee already has signs and billboards up anticipating the largest return since 2003.  The community and the families of these soldiers are beyond excited. Ticker-tape parade’s are planned with an overwhelming show of support and gratitude. When we think about soldiers returning home from war we assume that after the celebrations they will just go back to life as it was. It’s not that easy though. Many of the soldiers returning have been involved in “fierce fighting in Afghanistan” according to an article I read in USA Today. There are concerns for their mental, emotional and physical well-being. With so many soldiers coming home in such a short period of time, the transition back into a normal life will be a tough one.

While waiting for the bus last night I heard a man on his cell phone say to someone, “You like your freedom, thank a Veteran.” I couldn’t agree more but I don’t believe a simple thank you is enough. I worry that with an unstable economy, will these 17,000 soldiers find work? Is there enough accessible Veterans Assistance? Not just the financial support but the emotional and mental support too. If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is run anything like the Department of Motor Vehicles then lawdy help us all. The willingness we have to send our men and women to battle should not supersede the willingness we have to help them once they are home. Programs like Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, founded by the Minnesota National Guard, helps soldiers and airmen successfully reintegrate into their communities. Their motto is,”Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is united to bring Service members all the way home.” I like that, bring them all the way home. So like that random guy on his cell said, you like your freedom, help a veteran come all the way home.

There are many organizations and groups dedicated to just helping veterans get back on their feet.  Simple things from donating clothes and food. At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we would love to hear of any other ideas you may have. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or  stop by and share your thoughts. Don’t forget it’s that time of year when we offer year-end tax reviews (for free!)

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