Sunday, December 4, 2022

Parker: Honoring our heroes by giving back in this season of Thanksgiving

The changing of the season signifies a time of renewal. Fall brings great opportunities for people to reconnect with the spirit of gratitude and the chance to gather with family and friends. As the 30 days of November begin, we turn to the season of thanksgiving, reflecting on the great blessings bestowed upon us.

Giving thanks across America arises from the gift of our freedoms. President Abraham Lincoln wisely said that “Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.” Through incredible blessings, America has stood on the bedrock of liberty shining as the beacon of hope and freedom for the world. The republic on which our great Nation was founded 246 years ago has prevailed throughout the years because of the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.

Knowing this — we look to the season of thanks by recognizing and honoring our veterans. At the end of World War I, the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of 1918. Armistice Day was designated a national holiday in 1938, later becoming Veterans Day in 1954. This special day of commemoration gives every American an opportunity to honor those who gave the fullest measure of devotion as they served in our armed forces, enduring great risk and loss.

Keeping veterans at the forefront of our gratitude must go beyond a single day. Our veterans serve as our greatest heroes, to whom a debt can never be fully repaid by a grateful nation. It is my hope and prayer that our country never wavers in its appreciation for the sacrifices, courage, hope, and faithful love of country shown by every brave man and woman who wears our Nation’s uniform.

Across North Texas, there are many events honoring our heroes, and I hope you will participate in your community. Also, let us always remember that many long-term care facilities are home to aging service men and women, so please check with these local places about ways to say thanks. Additionally, the Texas Veterans Commission website – veterans.portal.texas.gov -provides many resources to help support those who have served.

Policy makers at every level of government must work to make certain we are addressing the greatest needs of our veterans. In January 2023, your Texas Legislature will convene to take up the people’s business. Over the interim, the Texas Senate has been studying several issues facing veterans and what our state can do to address each of these in our upcoming legislative session. The interim charges include removing barriers for companies offering benefits for veterans, establishing better public-private partnership opportunities, improving navigation for services and resources, addressing veteran mental health, training for first responders to better support veterans in crisis, and protecting the sacred grounds of our state veteran cemeteries.

There will be many bills filed to improve Texas veteran services, and I hope you will follow each on one at www.capitol.texas.gov. Our veterans have fought for us, and we must never waver in our fight for them.

Americans will also celebrate Thanksgiving, a time for gratitude, and gathering in the spirit of the bountiful gifts we have before us. As inflation has sadly risen to historic highs in our country, there is much work to be done to address great needs. I hope you will stay connected to area resources and non-profits on the countless ways to give back. There are many heart-driven non-profits leading our communities to meet people where they are and serve their needs, including fighting hunger. One cannot fully embrace the season, if the needs of others are not met. From groups such as Mission Moms to Meals on Wheels and food banks across our region, there are countless ways to nourish your community. If I can ever help connect you with a local event or cause, please let me hear from you. Small differences ignite big changes so please know that everyone can do something to make Thanksgiving a little brighter.

May we each use our God-given abilities and blessings to make the most of this November and in turn, inspire the next generation to continue the celebration of gratitude and widen the circle of giving for all.

It is an honor to serve you in the Texas House and work together for a stronger Texas. I encourage people to use their voice to shape the future of our community, state, and Nation by exercising your right to vote on November 8. I look forward to staying in touch, at 972.724.8477 or [email protected]  You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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