Veterans Day Insights from a Local 96-Year-Old WWII Veteran

wwII veteranOn Veterans Day, we honor those who have worn the uniforms of our great nation. I am a WWII Veteran -- there are not many of us left from this “Greatest Generation.” We have passed the baton called “America” to our sons and daughters, and they have taken this torch and held it high.  Service is not just a duty or obligation; it is indeed a privilege.

I have often been asked “What does Veterans Day mean to me?” In many communities, Veterans Day includes meetings, parades and speeches. Veterans Day represents an era of tradition and serves as a time to honor all of those who have served. The times we have lived through are indicative of the changes our nation has gone through. From the model “T” Fords to the spaceships circling the earth and beyond, on this day, we pay homage to the moments when our country has asked ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

However, after the guns or cannons have fired, the silence can be deafening. Lest we forget, freedom does not always come free, and veterans often seek a way to continue serving their communities once their uniforms have been put away.

For me, service to our veterans extends beyond just one day.  Enter United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED, a group that offers services to many veterans returning home from service who, like many of us, have struggled as we tried to get back to our families, jobs, and the civilian life in general. MISSION UNITED provides services for returning veterans that include housing support, employment services, education, legal assistance, and guidance on handling your finances and understanding health benefits.

Through volunteering with MISSION UNITED, I have learned they have wwII veteranprovided positive solutions for more than 10,000 veterans. This has included providing pro bono legal service to more than 7,000 veterans and providing housing support to more than 3,000 veterans and their families. I have been fortunate to volunteer with MISSION UNITED for over five years and it has been a great way to stay involved with my military community, including getting to know my fellow local veterans, as well as the veterans and military families who are in need of the organization’s services.

MISSION UNITED has thoughtfully created many solutions where there may have been gaps in support. This has been, and continues to be, incredibly helpful for veterans. 

To our business and civilian communities: we need you to show your support by getting involved with MISSION UNITED. You can hire veterans, volunteer at events, donate, provide resources, and of course, provide on-going support of services. 

To my fellow veterans: from my perch of 96 years, I salute you. To achieve what you have has required the major ingredients of character: guts, compassion and skill. It took supreme confidence to move to the sound of the guns, but do not let confidence become arrogance; humility is not timidity. Whether you have served in the kitchen or the battlefield, be proud that you carry the rank of VETERAN. You have earned it! We have been part of the greatest military in history. God bless you and God bless America

Sid Rosenblatt is a WWII veteran and a volunteer for United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED.

Click here to learn more about United Way of Broward County's MISSION UNITED.