Veterans Day an opportunity to thank our nation's heroes

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Dear Friends,
On November 11th Missourians and citizens of the United States once again pause to express our
gratitude for the heroic men and women who made the life-altering decision to serve our nation.
Veterans Day offers us the opportunity to say thank you to our nation’s heroes. It is a time for us
to renew our commitment to support the brave patriots who have put themselves in harm’s way,
in order to protect our American way of life. It is a time for us to pay tribute to those who protect
the highest ideals of this great nation.
The United States is blessed to have 19 million veterans who have returned home to their
families and friends following their service to our country. Missouri is home to more than
494,000 selfless heroes who put love of country before their own comforts and livelihood. Even
though they returned to life at home, many bear the scars, both physical and emotional, from
their time in their service to our nation. Because they have protected our freedoms and liberties,
it is important that we, the citizens of this great nation, repay our debt of gratitude by supporting
our veterans when and where we can.
In the 2021 legislative session, members of the Missouri House and Senate came together to pass
legislation that supports the many veterans who call Missouri home. By passing HB 476, we
strived to make it clear that Missouri has the welcome mat rolled out for any veteran who wishes
to relocate to the Show-Me State. The bill cuts through bureaucratic red tape and ensures skilled
veterans are able to work and practice their skills in our state. It allows men and women who
have left military service to obtain a license in the occupation they practiced while in the service.
It’s a change that helps make the transition to civilian life easier for veterans, and sends a strong
message that Missouri is welcoming home those who have sacrificed for our country.
Also this year, the state of Missouri launched the Missouri Benefits and Resource Portal to serve
as an informational tool and service guide to help veterans find potential benefits and local
resources. This portal for veteran resources is the result of a study titled “A Comprehensive
Analysis of Missouri’s Efforts to Improve the Quality of Life for Military Service Members and
their Families”. The portal is an important step toward helping veterans and their families learn
about the resources that are available to them here in Missouri. The portal is located at
veteranbenefits.mo.gov.
Veterans Day is a time, each year, for us to honor service members for their unselfish service and
dedication. It’s also a time to express our gratitude for the sacrifices they have made for our
benefit. This nation sent our service members into harm’s way in order to defend our liberties
and our American way of life. It is a time for us to support them as they return home and back to
their own lives. It is the responsibility of all Americans to ensure veterans receive the care and
support they have so dutifully earned. The debt owed to these heroes can never really be fully
repaid, but we, the people of this nation, should strive to express our gratitude and appreciation,
not only on Veterans Day but on every day of the year. America would not be the greatest nation
on the earth without the service and sacrifices of our veterans, and the nation’s future would not
be nearly as bright without the contributions they will continue to make in the years to come.
A Great Example of One of Our Own American Patriots
Mr. Jim Eddleman
U.S. Army Veteran, Perryville
On October 29, 2021 Mr. Jim Eddleman was one of 6 Veterans that were inducted into the Class
of 2021 Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame Ceremony held at the Missouri State Capitol.
Mr. Eddleman was drafted into the Army in 1966 and fought in the Tet Offensive. He was a
vehicle driver and as he transported the severely wounded to medevac helicopters, he promised
himself that, if he survived, he would find a way to honor his comrades who died. He returned to
his hometown, Perryville, after separating from the service.
This promise ultimately led to the planning of Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial (MNVM)
in Perryville. Jim and his family generously donated 47 acres of their 48 acre family farm as
well as their savings. Additionally, national and community support for the project flooded in
from Veterans organization, the community of Perryville, and donors across the country. The
dream became a reality and the MNVM officially opened in May 2019 with a full-sized replica
of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. a Welcome Center and a Museum. Jim
has been an active Board Member since the MNVM opening and volunteers with the Perry
County Military and History Museum.
What a deserving honor for Veteran Jim Eddleman!
My sincere thanks and gratitude for all Veterans!

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