Column: Honoring our heroes

Nov. 6, 2013

By Sen. Joe Hune

Veterans Day is a particularly important holiday for Americans. Veterans have time and time again proven their worth on the battlefield in far-off places, and this week we will have the chance to honor such sacrifice.

World War I, known at the time as “The Great War,” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles in France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Americans owe their freedom and their opportunity for success to the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. I am so thankful for our veterans as well as our reservists and our military personnel currently serving here or overseas. It is important that we all recognize their service.

There are many ways we can help our veterans through donations, volunteerism and especially hiring such heroes. As every business looks for truly exceptional employees, I would like to suggest an untapped resource: our veterans.

Hiring veterans may be of particular interest to small businesses. Instead of having to rely on a business’s pricey insurance plan, veterans often are afforded Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. Such benefits are lifelong for qualifying veterans and will exempt a business employing a veteran from the compulsory purchase of health insurance for him or her. This benefit also extends to qualified reservists and National Guard members.

I encourage everyone to get out and celebrate our true American heroes this Veterans Day with friends and family alike.

For further information on VA programs or to view a booklet on benefits available to veterans as well as other useful links, please visit my website at, email my office at or dial toll-free 1-855-563-4863 and my staff will be happy to assist you.

Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.