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Salute a veteran this Veterans Day

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Veterans Day is a day to celebrate warriors of all different kinds. Whether they served in World War II or the Iraq war, the holiday is in honor of them. Veterans Day affords all of us a special opportunity to honor the deeds of those who sacrificed so much to answer the call to arms during the life of this great country. On this day, our Nation is united in tribute to the valiant men and women who have unselfishly given of themselves to serve in our Armed Forces.

Although the war in which they served may have ended, the problems may have just begun for many returning from our current conflicts. Vets face numerous amount of health issues after leaving service whether the problems are physical, mental or both. There are scars of war that millions of vets deal with everyday. Lost limbs, gunshot wounds, and head injuries are just some of the physical scars left by war that can be seen walking down the street.

But some of the scars not visible to the naked eye are post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Not only are these hidden problems hard on the veteran, but their family and friends may suffer as well.

This holiday is not only important because we are celebrating their courage and bravery during the war but also because of their ongoing attributes after. Veterans Day is about remembering -- remembering those who went to war for us, especially those who didn't come back and those that have returned.

I am reminded of the President Reagan speech. "Words alone are insufficient to express our lasting gratitude and admiration to those whose patriotism and courage have ensured our peace and freedom despite threats of tyranny and aggression. Significant disruptions in their lives and other personal hardships have been the price that our Nation's veterans have paid so that the rest of us might enjoy the fruits of justice and liberty."

This veteran's day, I urge each of you to salute a veteran in your own way -- say thanks or a prayer, fly the Flag, but remember they gave up everything for our country, and for us. And all we can do is remember. -- Pam Mortenson, Detroit Lakes

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