HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Despite rainy weather, veterans and community members showed up to honor service members in Washington County and across the country.
During the ceremony, veterans and civilians placed wreaths in front of the Washington County Courthouse. Keynote speaker Commander John Lightfoot, of the Morris Frock American Legion Post 42, stressed that while Veteran’s Day is a day to honor service members, the community also needs to focus on staying connected to veterans who might be struggling to integrate back into civilian life during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future.
Commander Lightfoot said he was overjoyed by the turnout to the memorial service and it made the Marine veteran’s heart soar. He explained that these feelings emerged because military personnel are often only recognized or thought of during or after a time of crisis.
He stated that it is often difficult for veterans or military personnel to transition from military life to civilian life due to the intensity of their training. He went on to explain that it is hard to reduce or stop their tendencies or training once they reenter civilian life.
Commander Lightfoot also stressed the importance of connectivity and resources for these veterans while they acclimate and that the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped the issue.
“With the way current things are through the shutdowns and the COVID-19, people are losing sight of connection and it’s difficult to handle that by themselves and their families have to endure that as well. So it’s ok to reach out.”
Commander Lightfoot also explained that in Washington County, veterans can reach out to the Veterans Advisory Committee as well as various American Legion locations throughout the county. As the Commander of the Morris Frock American Legion Post 42, he would try to assist fellow veterans in any way that he can.