A full month to honor veterans, military families

President Donald Trump recently declared November 2018 the second annual National Veterans and Military Families Month to “salute the brave and dedicated patriots who have worn the uniform of the United States, and … celebrate the extraordinary military families whose selfless service and sacrifice make our military the finest in the world.”

This year, more than 300 events are planned at VA hospitals, benefits offices and cemeteries across the country, including:

— senior leader visits to VA facilities;

— open houses;

— town halls;

— benefits claims clinics;

— volunteer recognitions;

— homeless veteran initiative events;

— suicide prevention events;

— faith-based community events;

— flag planting tributes at national cemeteries.

To celebrate Veterans and Military Families Month locally, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain and the Escanaba Veterans Center will have these events throughout November:

— An open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Central time Wednesday at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center at 325 E. H St. in Iron Mountain.

— A free virtual reality event for veterans from noon to 4 p.m. Eastern time Friday at the Edge of Reality VR Arcade, 333 W. Washington St. in Marquette.

— Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Central time Sunday at the VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain.

— An open house from noon to 6 p.m. Eastern time Monday at the Escanaba Vet Center, 3500 Ludington St. in Escanaba.

 “Veterans and Military Families Month is an opportunity for us to honor the service of these patriots while educating communities about VA benefits and services and our commitment to customer service improvement,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said.

Jim Rice, director for the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center, added, “I echo Secretary Wilkie’s comments. We are hosting these events this month that I hope veterans take advantage of to see what we, as the VA, can offer them as well as connecting with other veterans.”

The full list of national events for Veterans and Military Families Month is available at this link: https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/veteransmonthcalendar.asp.