To the Editor:

On Nov. 11, we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. It was called “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers came home with wounds, visible and invisible. There wasn’t a VA, no safety net of care. They were promised a bonus and had to march on Washington to force their claims.

Because of all that, they began a movement that still lives on today. They paid it forward. VA health care, GI loans, and the GI bill providing a college education for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of World War II veterans who went on to create the largest expansion of wealth and knowledge in our history.

Then it was their turn. Those World War II and Korean war veterans who were so blessed thankfully stepped up for their turn and they paid it forward.

It was the voices of the Vietnam veteran that could be heard warning those who would repeat the shameful treatment of American heroes we witnessed during Vietnam. We would not allow them to do to our children and grandchildren what was done to us.

Then we stepped up and fought for better treatment and benefits for Iraq Afghanistan. We understood what they faced and so we did all we could to improve their lives and the lives of their families. The crowning achievement is the “GI Bill for the 21st Century.”

We paid it forward.

Now it’s your turn. Will you rise to the occasion, join with those of us who have been battling all those years for America's heroes?

If you haven't already, will your training kick in to remind you that we are responsible for each other? Will you join us in the Veterans of Foreign Wars as we fight to keep and expand the benefits due to our brothers and sisters in arms? I hope you will.

This is the legacy of those “Doughboys” who came home and changed America’s perception of what was owed to her warriors. It is also the proud history of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Our toughest work as always lies ahead. We need each other to make it happen.

Paul Spera

Past National CVFW Commander in Chief