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'Veterans Pride Initiative' shows support for servicemembers

WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- For veterans to show their support of the U.S. military, especially for the men and women serving overseas in the war on terrorism, acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon H. Mansfield called on the nation's 24 million veterans to wear their military decorations on Veterans Day.

"By wearing our decorations, we show the world the unity of our support for the U.S. armed forces and our pride in the men and women serving today on the frontlines of freedom," said acting Secretary Mansfield, a decorated and wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. "We also teach the meaning and the value of military service to the children of America."

Former Secretary Jim Nicholson, launched the "Veterans Pride Initiative" a year ago, urging veterans to pin on their decorations for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and other patriotic holidays and events.

Additional information about the initiative can be found at VA's Web site at www1.va.gov/veteranspride. The site includes information about how veterans can replace lost medals or confirm the decorations to which they are entitled.

Acting Secretary Mansfield is scheduled to take part in the national observance of Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11. Most of the 125 national cemeteries operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs and many of the Department's 153 hospitals will be holding their own observances.

Originally conceived to mark the end of World War I in 1918 - when an armistice for "the war to end all wars" began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - Veterans Day now honors the service of everyone who served in the U.S. military. (Courtesy of VA)