As we enter November, everyone starts gearing up for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Already, commercials advertising winter sales have started bombarding your television, reminding you to dust off your decoration boxes, get your shopping lists together, and start planning meals to celebrate with friends and family. Before we get too carried away, however, I ask that you join me in pausing to celebrate a day of equal significance this month, Veterans Day on Friday, November 11.

Without the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice of those who have served in our nation’s armed forces, we would not be able to give thanks over a turkey dinner with loved ones. Men and women from many generations gave up so much to fight for our country, defending us from enemies and threats seen and unseen. We are indebted to them, and it is only fitting that we take a moment to share our gratitude with them. Whether it’s a mother or a father, aunt or uncle, a neighbor down the street or a stranger in the grocery store, I encourage you to thank a veteran today, and every day, for their service to us all.

If you do have a chance to talk to a veteran, I also want you to pass along an important message to them. The Greene County Veterans’ Service Commission is hosting a Veterans Summit on Monday, November 14 from 6-8pm at the Greene County Media Room, located at 571 Ledbetter Road, Xenia, Ohio, 45385. They are gathering groups who offer valuable services to veterans and their families, from medical care to education opportunities to financial assistance and more. This is an open house event meant to connect veterans with meaningful benefits available to them that they might not know about. All veterans in the area are invited, as well as friends, families, and neighbors who know veterans. So tell the veteran in your life to come whenever they can, stay as long as they like, and learn more about how people can help make them the best veteran they can be.

When I was elected to this office, I vowed to make veterans a priority for my time, attention, and efforts. My hope is that this event will provide another valuable tool to help forge connections between veterans and organizations who seek to assist them. If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Greene County Veterans’ Service Commission at (937) 562-6020.

Also, please be sure to save the date for the 2nd Annual “Veterans Moving Forward” event, hosted by MyVeteran Community on May 24, 2017 from 3-6pm. The purpose of this event is also to connect veterans with organizations that can serve their needs. All veterans, friends, and family are invited. For more information on this event, please contact Cassie Barlow at (937) 705-1061.

Thank you to all who served and sacrificed for our country. We are forever indebted to you. God bless you, your families, and the United States of America.

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