Sunday, November 11, 2007


To all of my fellow veterans, I wish you a heartfelt happy Veterans Day. To those who support our veterans for their service, in spite of how you might come down politically on the issues of state, I say thank you for your support.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, that’s how it all started. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In spite of the 1968 effort to make Veterans Day a Monday holiday, the law was changed back on September 20th, 1975, by President Gerald R. Ford when he signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. As for a "day off" governments make the decision on when or if workers get a holiday when November 11th falls on the weekend. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management(OPM)generally does the following: when a holiday falls on a non-workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the federal government is closed on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).

Therefore, it is puzzling that so many confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. After all, there are only two holidays that celebrate living people — Labor Day and Veterans Day. It’s simple, Memorial Day is to honor those who have died in service to their country. Veteran's Day honors those who served their country and are still living.

To help make the point, "Veterans Day" does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of "veterans" because it is not a day that "belongs" to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.

I hope people take time to honor our Veterans. One good way to do that is to contact your elected representatives and tell them you want quality medical care and other necessary support for our Veterans, and especially those who are now disabled because of their service. Meeting our obligations to our Veterans as a nation gives real meaning to our words of support for our Veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!


Veterans Day 2007: Nov. 11

23.7 million
The number of military veterans in the United States in 2006.
(Source: Table 505 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

Female Veterans

1.7 million
The number of female veterans in 2006.
(Source: Table 505 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

Percentage of Gulf War veterans in 2006 who were women.
(Source: Table 506 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

Race and Hispanic Origin

2.4 million
The number of black veterans in 2006. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans are Hispanic; 292,000 are Asian; 169,000 are American Indian or Alaska Native; and 28,000 are Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders cover only those reporting a single race.) (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)

When They Served

9.2 million
The number of veterans 65 and older in 2006. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35.
(Source: Table 506 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

8 million
Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2006. Thirty-three percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 4.6 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 3.2 million in World War II (1941-1945); 3.1 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 6.1 million in peacetime. (Source: Table 506 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

In 2006, number of living veterans who served during both the Vietnam era and the Gulf War.

Other living veterans in 2006 who served in two or more wars:

350,000 served during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

78,000 served during three periods: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

294,000 served in World War II and the Korean War. (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)
The documented number of living World War I veterans who served with U.S. forces as of Oct. 2, 2007. (Source: Department of Veterans Affairs)

Where They Live

Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2006. These states are California (2.2 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1.1 million), Pennsylvania (1.1 million) and Ohio (1 million). (Source: Table 505 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)


Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2006. (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)

Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2006. (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)

Income and Poverty

Annual median income of veterans, in 2006 inflation-adjusted dollars. (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)

Percentage of veterans living in poverty, as of 2006. The corresponding rate for nonveterans was 12.3 percent. (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)

On the Job

11.1 million
Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2006. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey.)


6.1 million
Number of veterans with a disability. More than half this number (3.5 million) were 65 and older. (Source: 2006 American Community Survey.)


17.4 million
Number of veterans who voted in the 2004 presidential election. Seventy-four percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonveterans. (Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004, at

Business Owners

Percentage of owners of firms that responded to the 2002 Survey of Business Owners who were veterans. Respondent veteran business owners totaled 3 million. (Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 at )

Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 and older. This compares with 31 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2002, 55 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were established, purchased, or acquired before 1990, compared with 36 percent of all employer respondent firms. (Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002, at )

Percentage of all respondent veteran owners who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. (Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002, at )


2.7 million
Number of veterans who received compensation for service-connected disabilities as of 2006. Their compensation totaled $26.6 billion.
(Source: Tables 508 and 509 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

Jan. 21, 2007
The date of death of the last World War I veteran receiving compensation or pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs. (Source: Department of Veterans Affairs)

$72.4 billion
Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2006. Of this total, $34.5 billion went to compensation and pensions and $31.3 billion for medical programs. (Source: Table 508 of the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008.)

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