Today, Sunday November 11th is Veterans Day. By way of a little history, while World War I officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles in June of 1919, active hostilities ceased on November 11th of 1918. In November of the following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a commemoration of the day as “Armistice Day.” In 1954, after the end of the Second World War, the 83rd Congress amended the commemoration to the new observance of Veterans Day. For some years, Veterans Day was observed on the fourth Monday in October. However, since 1975 the observance of Veterans Day has returned to November 11th. Veterans Day, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a “celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
Since at least the time of President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, the United States has taken its responsibility to veterans as a deeply held responsibility. President Lincoln declared “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to the see the right, let us strive to on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan…” The last section of this statement became the VA motto in 1959 which took as its responsibility “to care for him who shall have borne the battle…”
So, who are our nation’s veterans? According to the United States Census, the US veteran population totals over 18 million men and women in the United States who have served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.
Some more interesting numbers from the US Census Bureau about veterans:
- 52.4% of male veterans are age 65 or over
- The largest living cohort of veterans today, with a median age of 70 years old, served during the Vietnam era
- In 2015, approximately 43% of men age 65 and over were veterans
- Over 1.6 million women veterans lived in the US as of 2017
Today our veterans receive care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, through Medicare and Medicare Advantage, through Medicaid, and through a wide range of governmental and not-for-profit entities. As a society, we know we have a debt to our veterans that can never be repaid. The challenge, is that too often that care is provided in a patchwork fashion, leaving too much obligation on the veteran to understand the range of options and choices.
At BeneLynk, we are proud to work with some of the nation’s premier Medicare Advantage Organizations to bridge the gaps within this patchwork, and to serve our veterans. This Veterans Day on behalf all of us at BeneLynk thank our nation’s veterans for their service.
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