Today we pay homage and give thanks to all of those who have served this great nation of ours from the United States Navy to the United States Army to the United States Air Force to the United States Marine Corps to the United States Coast Guard and each branch of reserves.
Scouting has a history rich in military service as well. Robert Baden-Powell, the father of Boy Scouts, was a British officer with a long military career. Much he learned along the way in his military career directly correlated with how he established scouting. As it stands, many of our current military academies are home to a considerable amount of Scouts - over 1/3 of the cadets at West Point were involved in scouts and 16% are eagles; over 20% of the Air Force cadets were in scouting and 12% are Eagles; and 25% of the Naval Academy midshipmen were in Scouts and 11% are Eagle Scouts. Thought it's not the only way, it's definitely a great path to being a part of something much bigger than yourself.
So, today, we humbly give thanks to those who have signed their name on the line and said, "Whatever it takes... I'm here for America." Those are the kind of courageous men and women we honor today.
Some interesting facts from History.com about veterans:
The brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States.
Did You Know?
There are approximately 21 million military veterans in the United States.
- 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
- 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
- 2 million veterans are women.
- 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975).
- 5.5 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
- Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II (1941-1945), about 620,000 are still alive.
- 2 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
- 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
- As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
- As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million), Texas (1.7 million).
- The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
We remember your sacrifice. We honor your patriotism. To quote President Coolidge, "The Nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.”