In Columbus, Ind., as in most American communities, there is a monument to the war dead. What distinguishes their roster is that the pillars of their monument also quote the last letters home before the service members died.
Whether they served during World War I or Vietnam, there seems to be a common thread: Those fighting overseas all yearn for home.
They ask about the babies. They are thankful for mom's cookies. They ask what their girlfriends did or how Uncle Bill's operation went or the harvest yield.
There is a lesson in those letters, and it is that those who have or are serving our nation need contact with the rest of us.
While they are overseas, they need us to reach out with letters or gifts. They need us to help groups such as the USO.
When they come home, they need a hand finding a good job. They need our support in dealing with their mental and physical scars.
So ask yourself this Veterans Day what you can do. Can you support the USO, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Fisher House Foundation, Operation Homefront, Homes for Our Troops or one of the many other veterans charities? Can you volunteer at a veterans hospital or take a casserole to the returned vet across the street? Can you just say thanks?
Today, resolve to help a vet or active service member find their way home. It's the least you can do after they sacrificed to protect yours.