Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Veterans Day, which has deep ties to rural areas, is a good time to make sure veterans feel connected to community

Wednesday is Veterans Day. It originally was a celebration of World War I's Nov. 11, 1918, armistice, and has long and closely held ties with rural Americans.

"According to the Defense Department, rural recruits — especially those with farm backgrounds — are likely to become good soldiers because these recruits — both males and females — tend to tolerate adversity well, possess many practical skills, are comfortable with the rigors of a demanding lifestyle, respond readily to training, and willingly choose military careers for at least part of lives," Mike Rosmann writes for the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan. "Persons with urban backgrounds are less likely to pursue military lifestyles, even though many are highly qualified."

Moreover, "The Veterans Administration reported that 24 percent of all veterans choose to live their subsequent years in rural communities," Rosmann writes. And "11 percent of all U.S. farmers have served — or are serving — in the military even though only 2 percent of Americans are engaged in agriculture as their chosen way of life."

But veterans have relatively high rates of suicide and mental-health disorders, Military.com reports: "As of 2017, an average of 20 veterans and service members die by suicide every day. This represents a 7% increase in the rate of suicide among veterans in just over a decade. Some reports indicate that suicides among service members have increased as much as 20% this year, when compared to previous years."

So, Military.com encourages you, on this Veterans Day, to reach out to the veterans around you and make sure they know they're part of your community.

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