The Stateline continues to honor former members of the military during Monday’s Federal Observance of Veteran’s Day. For many vets, it also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness. A local Veteran organization says there are still missing resources for those returning from war.
“When I got back, there was nothing here,” said Navy Veteran Craig Moritz. “This wasn’t here.” A crowd of the country’s bravest, salute and remember their comrades who lost their lives in battle. The Veterans Drop In Center observed Veteran’s Day Monday night.
“I’m a veteran and honestly, this is one of the most important days for me,” said Army Veteran Joshua Plummer. “Every time it comes around the bend, I get a bit choked up thinking about brothers and sisters overseas, and people that I know personally that are no longer here, that actual swore an oath for this constitution, as well as a sacrifice for this country.”
Many servicemen and women were called to duty, but some had a tough time re-integrating on their return home. Navy Veteran Craig Moritz is grateful the Rockford community helped him through his hardest times. “There have been times when I’ve literally been camping out in the winter time and it’s real hard to do that,” said Moritz. “It’s a place where we can come in here and just relax, and do what we have to do in here, and go take care of what we have to do out there, and a safe place to come back to.”
Veteran’s Day also sheds a light on the need for resources for those returning from war. Plummer served in the army. Even though he was medically discharged, this true patriot says he does what he can to continue to serve his country. “It hurts, but to try and make an impact in society today and be there for other veterans who are homeless, [who] need help that have post traumatic stress syndrome, I can sympathize and level with those types of needs for them.”
In Loves Park, flags wave along North Second Street. All the way to Machesney Park, where Debbie Kennedy cuts hair at Jim’s Barbershop. Kennedy offered free haircuts to veterans.
“I take pride in that,” said Kennedy. “My dad is a veteran. I just think they deserve what they can get. It’s their special day.”
Rockford Mass Transit District also supported veterans by allowing Veterans to ride for free.