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Good news for veterans

June 19. 2018 10:55PM

To the Editor: I read with interest Todd Feathers’ piece in the Sunday News concerning the decreasing membership in veterans’ organizations.

I see it in the Military Officers Association of America’s New Hampshire chapter. We have one of the largest and strongest chapters in America, yet we cannot attract enough new members to replace those who are aging out. As a retired Army social work officer, I don’t see that as a problem. Here’s why.

Many veterans organizations came about after the demobilization of huge numbers of veterans of two world wars. Many joined veterans organizations to find support from like-minded individuals. They found comfort in that companionship. Many perhaps were self-medicating in the club canteens to deal with PTSD.

Back then, all able-bodied men were required by the draft to serve. We now have an all-volunteer force. The regional conflicts of recent decades pale in comparison to the world wars. PTSD is now recognized and treated professionally. In short, the pool of veterans needing or wanting the support of veterans’ organizations has shrunk considerably. Supposedly, one local veterans’ organization closed because younger members did not patronize their canteen. These developments are to be celebrated!

We will always have veterans. Many will join a veterans’ organization for support and friendship. It just won’t be on the scale there once was because the need is not as great. Isn’t that good news?



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