We recently held our Inaugural IVOS Luncheon. The attendees were treated to a wonderful couple of hours listening to General (Ret’d) Walter Natynczyk talk about his time serving. He shared many touching antidotes that can often come up. During this luncheon, I had the privilege and honour of meeting several people and businesses from the community that support Veterans, as well as Veterans from the various branches who have served our country.
As I listened to General (Ret’d) Natynczyk, I thought of those who had served and never made it home. I looked around at everyone in the room who were there because they cared and felt honoured to sit amongtst them. My uncles served in the military. Neither of them was the same when they came back, but they did make it home. I was too young to completely understand what the changes were and how these came about. As I grew older, I began to recognize those differences and have a better understanding of what it takes to make a person change so drastically. Did I fully understand? Sadly no. It wasn’t until I was much older, and those uncles had passed away that I got to know their stories, and still I am well aware that parts are missing - their histories shaped the persons they became and those closest to them each and every day. I need only spend a few moments with the Veterans I have the honour of working with each day to realize that each one of these men and women has seen things, heard things, and lived things that have changed them. None has been left unaltered.
As we are taking part in this week of Remembering our Veterans - those that served for our country, let us remember those who came back changed. Let us remember those who are on the street with no place to call home, maybe because they feel like society has forgotten them or just doesn’t care anymore.
To every member of our military, past and present, I sincerely say thank you for all you’ve done.
May God bless you all!
Elizabeth, IVOS (Veteran Program) Support