Veterans Groups Are Now Pledging to Serve Community With New Creed

Col. Eric Laughton, commander of the 107th Medical Group, 107th Attack Wing, New York Air National Guard, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, addresses the crowd in attendance at the Memorial Day ceremony in Lewiston, N.Y., May 28, 2018. The ceremony is hosted annually by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Down River Post #7487, honoring those who gave their lives while serving in the armed forces. (U.S. Air National Guard/Brandy Fowler)
Col. Eric Laughton, commander of the 107th Medical Group, 107th Attack Wing, New York Air National Guard, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, addresses the crowd in attendance at the Memorial Day ceremony in Lewiston, N.Y., May 28, 2018. The ceremony is hosted annually by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Down River Post #7487, honoring those who gave their lives while serving in the armed forces. (U.S. Air National Guard/Brandy Fowler)

Eleven veterans organizations have adopted a "Veteran's Creed" that acknowledges pride of service and a continuing shared commitment to values that strengthen the nation.

The fourth tenet of the creed states that "I continue to serve my community, my country and my fellow veterans."

The creed, which was adopted on Flag Day last week at an event at the Reserve Officers Association, was the result of extensive discussions among veterans groups that began last fall at Georgetown University.

"The creed will help prepare veterans for their productive civilian lives," said Dr. Joel Kupersmith, Director of Veterans' Initiatives at Georgetown University.

Retired Army Gen. George W. Case, Jr., the former Army chief of staff and commander of Multi-National Force Iraq, said the creed may motivate veterans to continue to give back.

"I believe the Veteran's Creed could remind veterans of what they miss about their service and encourage them to continue to make a difference in their communities and across our country," he said. "We need their talents."

The Veteran's Creed, similar to the Army's Soldier's Creed, was intended to underline the "altruistic ethos of veterans themselves."

It also purports to "remind Americans that the principles and values veterans learned in the military -- integrity, leadership, teamwork, selfless service -- can greatly benefit our country," according to the veterans groups.

"In the Army I lived both the Soldier's Creed and the NCO Creed," said John Towles, Director of National Security & Foreign Affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"As veterans, we must realize that our service does not stop simply because we take off the uniform," he added. "Many of us struggle to find our place once we leave the military, but now we have a new set of watchwords to guide and remind our brothers and our sisters in arms that our mission is far from over."

The Creed is backed by AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, HillVets, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Reserve Officers Association, Student Veterans of America, Team Rubicon Global, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Wounded Warrior Project.

The Creed states:

1. I am an American veteran

2. I proudly served my country

3. I live the values I learned in the military

4. I continue to serve my community, my country and my fellow veterans

5. I maintain my physical and mental discipline

6. I continue to lead and improve

7. I make a difference

8. I honor and remember my fallen comrades

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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