From post-traumatic stress disorder, joblessness, to months of separation from loved ones, members of the military, their families, and veterans face a myriad of challenges these days. In conjunction with Veterans Day, ED has assembled multiple resources that commemorate the veteran experience and address some of the needs faced by the military community as a whole. It’s the Department’s way of saying “thank you” to everyone who has served and an opportunity to give back to those who have sacrificed so much on behalf of this country.
The first resource provides a compilation of materials that can be used by teachers to celebrate veterans both inside and outside the classroom environment. One of these is a comprehensive guide provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs in honor of Veterans Day. It contains suggested activities for students such as a flag-raising ceremony, poster contest, and musical tributes. It also explores ways students can volunteer for veteran-related causes, provides information on various military scholarship opportunities, and discusses the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day and the history of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The link also contains a couple of references from the Library of Congress that focus on military history and feature first-hand interviews and other audio/visual portrayals of those impacted by wars, past and present.
The General Services Administration explores different ways to observe and learn about Veterans Day and National Veterans Awareness Week, including census facts about veterans, U.S. coins honoring veterans, and more.
Lastly, ED has compiled a web page dedicated to military families and veterans. The page leads with a statement that includes the following excerpt:
“…We want all military-connected school children to have an equal and fair opportunity for academic success. This requires that those individuals who make up our nation’s educational system—our teachers, principals, school nurses, coaches, and counselors—understand the unique situations the children of our service members experience.”
It also discusses mental health resources available to the military community and provides an overview of Secretary Duncan’s commitment to supporting military families. The page contains a wealth of additional information on issues ranging from military child care, public school attendance policies, and Federal Student Aid resources.
The willingness of America’s veterans to give so much for the country has earned them eternal gratitude. This Veterans Day, be sure to thank a vet and share their story with others.
Patrick Kerr is ED’s communications director in Region VII, based in Kansas City. He served 10 years in the Marine Corps and recently completed his graduate degree using the Post 9/11 Montgomery GI Bill.