Veterans Day ceremonies have taken place around the state and all over the nation today.
One of the largest events at MacArthur Military Museum, The Arkansas State Veterans Day Ceremony, offered time for thanks and reflection. As well as great reminders for us all.
"I've been in the military for 37 years and every time I have a chance to meet a young solider or airman, that's the best day of my life,” said Steven Veazey, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Arkansas
Nov. 11 may be the calendar day for this occasion every year, but those who wear the many badges of honor deserve to be recognized more often.
“Every day is Veteran's Day. It's not just one day. We need reach out and understand that fewer than one percent of our nation's population volunteers to say here I am, send me,” Veazey added. He’s confident the future of this nation is in good hands.
With an all voluntary military, programs like these aim to remind upcoming generations the importance of public service.
“Whenever they leave their home and the normal affairs of life, and go to great risk themselves, we've got to remember that sacrifice,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Many veterans face hardship and difficulty once they return home.
What's being done here in Arkansas to help ease the transition?
“This last legislative session we passed a tax exemption for military retirement income. So, if you serve through retirement years your income will be exempt from state income tax,” Hutchinson said.
He hopes this change will not only recognize service, but also attract veterans to move to Arkansas.
“We also have moved our veterans service offices out into the districts and closer to our veterans, away from simply having one in Central Arkansas that they have to travel hundreds of miles for” said Hutchinson.
The state also has a new veterans retirement home where vets can live comfortably in their later years. And there’s a new homeless shelter located at Fort Roots in Little Rock, it’s been open for about six months.