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NLC supports initiative to honor wounded, ill service members.

Recognizing the importance of honoring the military service members who have been wounded or ill while in the act of duty, NLC recently signed on in support of Silver Star Service Banner Day and encourages support from cities and towns.

Silver Star Service Banner Day is recognized throughout the country on May 1, which marks the first day of Military Appreciation Month, as the nation's biggest "thank you" to wounded and ill service members. Cities that have signed the Silver Star Service Banner Day proclamation use the day to pay respect to those service members in their communities in a variety of ways, such as displaying the Silver Star Service Banner, holding awards ceremonies or flying the Silver Star flag. Their proclamations are displayed at the Stars and Stripes Museum Bloomfield, Mo.

"The National League of Cities is pleased to lend its full support in an effort to continually honor the men and women serving our great nation both at home and abroad," said NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut. "As part of our efforts, we will ask our members for their support of the Silver Star Service Banner Day."

Silver Star Service Banner Day is an initiative started by the Silver Star Families of America. The organization was founded in 2005 with the goal to recognize the sacrifice of those service members with wounds or illnesses incurred during combat. Thus far, more than 40 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and more than 200 cities have signed proclamations declaring May 1 as Silver Star Day.

"The country has a pretty short-term memory of the wounded and ill who served our country," said Silver Star Families of America Founder Steven Newton, former Marine and Navy Reserve member, and retired police chief. "We remember their efforts by honoring them with the Silver Star Banner."

The organization also advocates for the wounded and ill of all branches of service by meeting with other troop support organizations such as the Department of Veteran Affairs, and assists in educating the families of those wounded or ill and the public concerning their plight. It also honors military medical personnel with a Certificate of Appreciation for their care of the wounded and ill.

Since its emergence, Silver Star Families of America has also added programs to further assist the wounded and ill and their families. These programs include services such as providing games to help their hand-eye coordination, food cards to be able to enjoy meals other than those provided by hospitals, a letter writing team and Thank You for Service certificates.

"These kids have given their all for us," said Newton. "The least we can do is say 'thank you.'"

Reintegration Summit

To address the issues of reintegration that affect how service members return to civilian life following their war time service, Survivor Corps, the Veterans' Coalition, and Booz Allen Hamilton will host the Community Reintegration Summit: Service Members and Veterans Returning to Civilian Life on January 26-27 at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.

The goal is to convene a broader community of leaders from the public, private, and civil sectors to discuss four key objectives: themes, issues, and challenges faced by service members and veterans returning to civilian life; the definition of successful community reintegration; action plans to address specific issues of community reintegration that reach across sectors; and mega-community work groups to address specific issues of community reintegration.

"The National League of Cities has an important role to play in any veteran/service member reintegration effort, given that the majority of veterans in our country live in urban areas," said Survivor Corps. Project Coordinator Zack Bazzi.

Details: Silver Star Families of America membership is free. For more information, visit www.silverstarfamilies.org.

For further information on the Community Reintegration Summit, contact Scott Quilty of Survivor Corps at (202) 250-3946 or squilty@survivorcorps.org.
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Author:Duvall, Cherie
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 19, 2009
Words:644
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