Tomorrow, we, as a country, will celebrate Veterans Day. It is a chance for us to recognize and express our appreciation for all the people who have served our country in the military. These brave men and women have put their lives on the line to protect our country and help preserve the essential freedoms that we as a nation cherish so dearly.

In 1919, one year after the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson recognized the service of veterans during that war and how their willingness to serve bettered our country. He stated:

“With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we’ve modeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.

Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.

 To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with – solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”

While a national holiday recognizing those who served did not come about for many years after this speech, President Wilson’s words embodied a sentiment of deep appreciation for our armed forces, which continued to grow, eventually giving rise to Veterans Day. His words describe how the sacrifice of our military members has the potential to bring out the very best of our country, a point which is fundamental to the purpose behind Veterans day.

Despite the fact that we have a formal holiday celebrating their sacrifices,  our veterans often find themselves victims of fraud, or targeted for financial exploitation. Whether it is a massive insurance company that targets military members, a bank, or just a “small” local scam, it seems that veterans are targeted by those who value money over service. These predatory companies and individuals often attempt to appeal to veterans’ patriotism by “wrapping themselves in the flag,” , only to leave them high and dry when it’s time to deliver on their promises.

Many companies offer discounts or deals for military members out of a sense of respect for what they sacrifice, but not all are on the up-and-up. Our advice to veterans is this: ask yourself what the company is getting out of what it claims to be offering to you and your family. If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  And our message to the companies that continue to commit these frauds is simple: we’re watching and we’ll do what we legally can to stop you from defrauding veterans.

By: Craig Valentine