What can the Lake Norman region do to best support our young and aging veterans?

(The Marine Corps’ 237th birthday is Nov. 10 and Veterans Day, Nov. 11)

“There are many area homeless vets that desperately seek jobs and homes, but are struggling to get by. It could make difference if local businesses offered returning vets job priority with real incentives to the owners toward that goal.  Local governments could do more to honor returning veterans by allowing regional tax breaks to home-owning vets, which could be determined on a sliding scale based upon years, served or combat-related service. Also, supporting venues such as Richard’s Coffee Shop & Living Military Museum in Mooresville and other local veterans’ organizations are essential. Fast-tracking veteran claim forms, which are severely backlogged, would be a great Christmas gift to those who have been stagnating in government bureaucracy. It’s unfortunate that a very small portion of one percent of Americans volunteer for today’s armed services, so when you notice a veteran or young person in uniform, just tell them “Welcome Home” and “Thank You.”

– Jim Schenk, Statesville, U.S. Navy Submarine Force 1966-1972, ETR3 (SS)

“Compassion and appreciation, as well as getting involved in existing programs, would mean a lot to veterans in our Lake Norman community.  For example, ‘Purple Heart Homes’ and the ‘Wounded Warrior Project’ are great ways to help veterans with homeownership and adjusting to their ‘new normal’ after returning from serving our country.  My stepfather, Layton Getsinger (Lieutenant Commander, Navy) began serving our country in the Vietnam War, and proudly continued his service for two decades. He offered the following advice, which means so much to our veteran friends: When you see a veteran with a ball-cap on, just say “thank you” for their service.  And Vietnam vets particularly still enjoy hearing, ‘Welcome Home.’ ”

– Abigail Jennings, President,

Lake Norman Realty

Jennings is a 16-year supporter of the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.