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— Last week I had the privilege of covering a ceremony honoring Vietnam veterans from our area that was attended by Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs Director Colonel Nathaniel “Nate” Todd.

I saw a lot of familiar faces in the gym of the Cullendale First Baptist Church. Some of whom, I never knew served in Vietnam.

Griffin spoke of the importance of honoring these men from a war that was one of the least popular in American history.

A veteran spoke up at the end and related how he was told to throw away his uniform when he returned home. Unlike today, where combat veterans are held in high regard by the majority of Americans, the Vietnam war was a divisive point in our culture.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the most important ways this country can honor not only veterans of the Vietnam war, but all veterans.

My father served in Vietnam, my stepfather is a disabled veteran and my brother was medically discharged from the Army.

In the last couple of years, my dad has suffered from early onset dementia and had to be sent to a nursing home. He never really saved or planned for the future. Without the assistance of the VA, it would have been impossible for him to receive the care he needs.

Needless to say, my family owes a lot to the VA. The least we can do is provide medical care for people that served our country, no matter the capacity.

Luckily, Ouachita County Veterans Service Officer Jim Bob Davis is incredibly devoted to the veterans of the area. I’ve had more than a few conversations with Davis in my time with the paper and he’s never been anything but accommodating to me, and I suspect, to anyone that walks through his door.

I implore any veteran that hasn’t yet contacted Davis to do some immediately. His number is 870-837-2216 and he’ll be more than happy to hear from you.

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