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Veterans’ sacrifices have far-reaching effects

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- On Veterans Day, we honor those who have served in our nation's armed forces, as well as those who continue to serve.

This being the Year of the Air Force Family, it's also appropriate that we acknowledge not only the service and sacrifices of our military veterans, but those of their family members as well.

Deployments are tough on family members, multiple deployments more so. Veterans returning from hostile environments sometimes find it difficult to re-enter their families, a situation that causes family members heartache and tests their capacity for patience and understanding.

Family members of veterans who come home wounded or disabled must adapt to permanent changes and sometimes permanent sacrifices. Children may find a parent veteran isn't fully present to them for a time ... or for good.

The Air Force, as well as our sister services, are committed to helping family members cope with the emotional hardships that often accompany a veteran's service. We've gotten a lot better at it over the last 40 years. Something we call the Integrated Delivery System brings together all the resources devoted to physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness to better serve the needs of all members of Air Force families.

The Air Force, however, isn't able to help everyone who needs it. Wingmen, good neighbors, caring coworkers, and resilient family members have an important role too.

We set aside one day each year to honor our nation's veterans. This year, let's also honor the people who sustain and love them.

Col. Allen Jamerson, 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker installation commander, drove an electric car for a week during Energy Awareness Month. The car runs on a 96-volt battery and can reach 40 mph.