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We Are Thankful for Our Veterans!

Photo: Lynn Henson took this touching photo at Lake Monticello’s Veteran’s Day celebration.

Over 60 people gathered to honor veterans at the Lake Monticello Golf Course on November 11, 2022. The Fork Union Military Academy color guard and musicians performed a flag ceremony, followed by cake and lemonade.

Local veteran Paul Bethke took a captivated audience on an emotional journey. In his speech, he related moving stories about his military career, family, and losses and shared ways everyone can support veterans:

First, attend recognition events. Second, thank a veteran and active duty personnel for their service – those who served in Vietnam also deserve your thanks [paraphrased].

Third, support government efforts to improve the care at the Veterans Administration Hospitals. Medical advancements since WWII, Korea, and Vietnam have resulted in many more saved lives. Those who would have died in previous wars came home with severe lifelong afflictions…They required and will require extensive surgeries, special follow-ups on medical and psychiatric care, and disability support.

Fourth, you can elect and support government officials who support our veterans 

by passing legislation that:

1. Seeks to help improve health care for our veterans.

2. Treats veterans suffering from PTSD and drug addiction.

3. Provides mental health care to veterans contemplating suicide. As many as 44 veterans die on average every day from suicides. Also, there are an estimated 33,000 veterans without permanent housing. This is down by more than 55% from over 76,000 since President Obama announced a new focus on ending veteran homelessness in 2010. This trend needs to continue.

Fifth, you can support our Veteran Service Organizations – like the VFW, the American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans by joining, volunteering, and making monetary contributions.

Paul Bethke is the point of contact for the Central Virginia Veterans – a social group of veterans who meet at Wahoo BBQ for breakfast at 8:30 AM on the last Saturday of every month. The cost is $12.00. Contact Paul at 703-965-8363 for more information.

The Lake Monticello Owners’ Association is thankful for those who attended our Veteran’s Day Celebration, for Paul Bethke’s touching and relatable speech, and of course, to all who have served our country.

We honor you.

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