[Editor’s Note: The following is an open invitation to veterans of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm from James Delancy, state commander of the VFW Connecticut.]

Twenty-eight years ago last month (January 1991), 700,000 Americans, as part of a 34-country coalition, fought hard for the liberation of Kuwait.

These brave men and women were part of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, commonly referred to as ODS Veterans.

As the Connecticut State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, I thank all the 20,000 ODS veterans from Connecticut for their service to our country and personally invite them to join the VFW in order to retain and preserve the benefits you, and every other military veterans who fought for our freedom, deserve.

ODS veterans, you are very important to the VFW because you fought during a time that is considered the bridge between the Vietnam War and the current War on Terror.

Your time there is not forgotten.

The VFW is here to help you and your family, but we can’t do it all unless we hear from you.

We need you to step up like you did 28 years ago and join another coalition of proud military veterans who speak up for the future of their family and the community around them.

Currently returning veterans need to look to ODS veterans as mentors on how to return positively and move forward in their life and with their community.

ODS veterans are the leaders of these younger veterans and we need to make sure the VFW is there for them as well.

The mission of the VFW, founded in 1899, is to help returning veterans with their needs, be it with health benefits, disability claims, emergency housing, continuing education and more.

We are involved politically every day, on the state and national level, to fight for these rights for you for all military veterans.

Will you help us, and your community of fellow veterans, by joining the VFW today?

It is easy, just visit: www.vfwct.org or in Connecticut call 860-616-2363.