Honor our veterans every day

Staci Matlock
Posted 11/14/19

Veterans Day is over.

But for veterans of war, the battles are never done.

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Honor our veterans every day


Veterans Day is over.

But for veterans of war, the battles are never done.

Veterans live with the aftermath of war, every day, every night.

They see the faces of the friends who died in their arms. They, perhaps, see the faces of people they had to kill. They bear the scars of war – visible on the outside, invisible on the inside.

Their families live with the aftermath as well. The demons of war that haunt so many combat veterans follow them home.

Taos has many veterans – men and women. Some were born and raised here. Some are recent transplants. They come from different cultures, different religions and different political persuasions. All share the bond of having served their country.

As Gilbert Suazo, a Taos Pueblo councilman noted at the pueblo’s touching Veterans Day ceremony, many veterans died in those wars on foreign soil, far from their home and people in the beautiful Taos Valley. Taos Pueblo warriors have fought to retain their homes and lands long before there was a United States. They, along with other New Mexico pueblos and hundreds of tribes across the country, fought the fledgling United States to keep their homelands and their cultures. And then they fought for the United States, sending their loved ones into wars not of their making but to protect, still, their homeland.

Servicemen and servicewomen of European descent, whose families go back several generations in Taos County, have fought alongside those from the pueblos. All have left blood, sweat, tears and sometimes their lives on foreign soil. “Our men and women in uniform remind us every day about strength, duty, devotion, courage and a deep commitment to protect and defend that has kept our country safe,” read Mayor Dan Barrone from the town’s proclamation at the Veterans Day ceremony on the historic Taos Plaza.

All of these veterans need community support as they work to overcome their war scars and carry on their lives, not just on Veterans Day, but every day.

Taos is blessed with several organizations trying to help veterans with job training, transportation, housing and counseling. Reach out to those groups and see how you can help. Go a step or two beyond just thanking them for their service – ask what you can do for them.

“We must remember that our commitments to those who have served and sacrificed are commitments we must honor not only on Veterans Day, but every day,” Barrone read.

Those are commitments worth keeping.


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