by Michael Brox, Candidate for Milwaukee County Supervisor, 5th Dist.
President Barack Obama recently announced to the American people that our troops in Iraq would be returning home.
“I am proud to say these two words: ‘welcome home,’” our president said.
A war that has lasted longer than World War 1, World War 11, and the Vietnam War combined. With a cost of almost 5,000 American soldiers lives, over 30,000 wounded, and over $1 trillion is finally over.
This article is not about if you believe the war was justified or not. This is an article about how those brave troops will be treated when they return at the end of the year.
In the coming weeks, many of our veterans will return to Wisconsin — and Milwaukee in particular — without a job; traumatized in some way by the effects of war, yes and even possibly finding themselves homeless.
I hope and pray that our elected leadership, church leaders, as well as the business community are making the preparations necessary now to extend that helping hand to these brave men and women. After all 91 Wisconsinites have paid the ultimate price (gave their lives) so that we can our freedoms here at home.
I am always touched when I see a heart warming reunions of families and loved ones that have been reunited after returning from war (well done Mr. President). It is also comforting to know that organizations such as Operation Homefront Wisconsin exist to help hundreds of families of military veterans with development, sending care packages overseas; they also help with financial issues and health support.
It was also encouraging to see the millions of dollars invested in Milwaukee to build a facility at the Veterans Administration (VA) for vets who return from the wars with severe spinal injuries, as well as the construction of a new nursing home for veterans, centrally located on 35th street and Wisconsin avenue.
The truth is: communities all over the state of Wisconsin are organizing homecomings for these returning veterans. What will we do here in our community to welcome home our soldiers?
To our local aldermen, county supervisors, state representatives, state senators, as well as our Congresswoman Gwen Moore, I ask: what can we do to welcome our troops home and back into our community?
I ask you this question because you have access to the resources to get the job done. The responsibility extends beyond our elected officials; the church community can lend a hand as well.
The various churches throughout the city could host a “welcome home veterans day,” whereby church members could provide veterans with a home cooked meal, a job fair, a thank you celebration, or just words of encouragement.
Leaders, lets not allow our veterans to return to a Milwaukee where it’s business as usual. Let us all work together to let our soldiers know that we here in Milwaukee’s African American community appreciate the sacrifices that they have made for this country.
In conclusion, I will make you this offer. If you are apart of an organization, a church, or an elected official who wants to have an event to support our returning troops in the upcoming year, I would be happy to work with you to make this happen.
I don’t believe in simply complaining without offering a solution to the problem. I can be contacted via e-mail ([email protected]). Let me know what you have in mind and we can go from there.
Let’s have that ticker tape parade! And to all businessowners: Remember, don’t forget hire a vet!
Happy New Year! May God bless you; our President Barack Obama, and may God Bless the United States of America.