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Veterans Day has its origins in the terrible destructiveness of World War I, the war — it was said — to end all wars.
Over the decades since that war ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, our nation has been involved in other armed engagements overseas and Nov. 11 has taken on a broader significance.
Today we honor the sacrifices of the men and women who proudly wear and have worn the uniform of our country’s armed forces. We also recognize the sacrifices made by their families.
At the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, we are acutely aware of the important contributions our veterans have made and our active duty personnel continue to make.
We also feel strongly that it is important to think about that and express thanks in our own way. We have a military affairs group that works regularly and each year we host a military appreciation breakfast, and we’re happy to do it.
It also seems fitting to acknowledge our government leaders, those in Hartford and those who represent us in our nation’s capital. They recognize that we owe our veterans more than a pat on the back for a job well done.
In keeping with this recognition, they have created a number of services for veterans. These include initiatives such as the job expansion tax credit plan which provides a tax credit of $900 per month for hiring a veteran.
Other tax benefits include property tax accrued interest forgiveness on property tax owed by mobilized members of the Armed Forces to Afghanistan and Iraq, tax exemption for one vehicle, as well as 50 percent of military pension exemptions from state tax.
In the area of employment, veterans with military backgrounds who apply for selected state of Connecticut positions are guaranteed a face-to-face interview for the position.
Also, extra points are provided to veterans taking the Connecticut State Police trooper trainee exam as well as veteran credits on merit examinations. These are just a few of the support programs provided by the state of Connecticut for returning veterans.
Beyond our government’s recognition of the contributions veterans have made, there are on-going efforts to help from a variety of long-established veterans’ groups and private individuals who have come forward in recent years.
We ask a great deal from the people who serve in our Armed Forces and it seems only appropriate that we all pitch in to support this important segment of our community.
On behalf of the chamber of commerce and our entire membership, we thank all who continue to salute the veterans among us.
For military people in eastern Connecticut, thank you for a job well done, your service is greatly appreciated.
Tony Sheridan is the president the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.