Veterans Day Ceremony Shines Light on Life after the Victory
The West Georgia Veterans Council held their annual Veteran’s Day service at the Troup County Veteran’s Memorial in La-Grange Wednesday morning to a significantly muted crowd due to heath concerns and inclement weather. The council opted to continue the annual tradition, but asked vets to not attend if it would put their health at risk under the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many veterans are especially at risk due to their age.
Retired U. S. Army MSgt Patricia E. Liddell served as guest speaker for the event and took the time to highlight the battles that veterans continue to fight post military victory.
Liddell is currently the chairperson of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System, which also serves parts of West Georgia. She served in the Army from 1976-2004, concluding her service at Fort Benning.
She began by simply asking the question, “Where’s the victory?”
Liddell noted that even though the United States experienced victory on Armistice Day, for many veterans coming home from war was yet another battle. The same is true for veterans of subsequent wars.
“After victory in war, the veteran has just begun,” said Liddell, referencing the many challenges World War II veterans faced coming home from life changing injuries and post traumatic stress to the fight for civil rights and the struggle to reintegrate into society.
Liddell said she saw first-hand the psychological struggles that post-war veterans suffer at Walter Reed, Fort Polk, and Fort Benning.
“They suffered from the inability to separate the battlefields of Panama, Gulf War, and Afghanistan from their own neighborhoods,” said Liddell.
Civil rights were also a struggle for minority veterans, who Liddell noted were often treated as second- class citizens when they arrived back home.
“Minorities were more likely not able to take advantage of their veteran benefits. The war was won but their battle had just begun,” she said.
Life was not easy for many veterans returning home from war oversees, despite the initial jubilation of the armistice.
“Veterans and the family members that support them know very well that we can experience victory, that does not mean that life is easy after the victory,” she explained.
Liddell found her ultimate victory through Christ and encouraged others to do the same.
“The victory is a man named Jesus that was nailed to a cross that bore our sins before we even knew to call them sins,” Liddel concluded.
The West Georgia Veterans Council is comprised of members of the American Legion, Post 75, Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 31, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4629, and the 1st Sgt. Charles F Waller, Detachment 1040, Marine Corps League.
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