It's too late to hire the veterans who battled on D-Day, but we can honor them with more than a moment of silence. A few survivors are alive to tell their stories -- parachuting and wading into a blood bath on Normandy beaches -- but they are retired now. Their descendants, by birth or by right, need work today.
We can honor them by giving them jobs. It's not enough, but it's one way to lift up those who fell for American freedoms.
Seventy-five years after 2,501 Americans perished on D-Day, it is a tragedy that 39,471 veterans are homeless. A job could save their lives. The good news is that there are many opportunities to hire veterans.
RecruitMilitary, for example, offers services free-of-charge to veterans and their spouses looking for jobs. It boasts the nation's largest, single-source database with over 1,400 members. "We are proud to have produced more than 1,200 job fairs in over 66 cities, and our events have connected tens of thousands of employers with hundreds of thousands of veterans and spouses."
Veterans also help those who employ them. In addition to skills and talents veterans offer, they can help businesses earn tax credits. A Work Opportunity Tax Credit is available to for-profit and certain tax-exempt organizations, and the tax breaks are increasing. "The Returning Heroes Tax Credit now provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600," Military.com says.
David Nagle, a veteran of World War II, lived to be 80-years-old. On the anniversary of D-Day, his daughter Eileen Nagle told his story of being a soldier back then. After the attack on Peal Harbor, David rushed to join the military. He was too young, but went back as soon as he was old enough. He was among 13,000 paratroopers who jumped through the night sky towards Normandy.
He was one of the lucky ones who didn't die, but he was captured by the Germans. He escaped, only to be captured by the Russians. He saw many soldiers die on the battlefield, but his children lived to tell his story. It was much more than his epitaph: David Joseph Nagle, Purple Heart. Loving husband and father.
They say he was preserved for another purpose. A hero of D-Day, Nagle worked as a bulk mailer and businessman.