November is National Military Family Month during which we celebrate the 238th year of service for the United States Marine Corp, Veterans Day and Military Families.
The military is more than the individuals that choose the serve.  It is the wives, husbands, children, parents, family, friends and communities that support our heroes.
The Department of Defense celebrates National Military Family Month and the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of the nation’s service members noting that “behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support.”
I am proud of the West Virginians that have served and are serving our country, we have had more of our citizens serve in the military – per capita – than any other state in the nation.  Our families have also seen thousands of our Mountaineers return home injured and sadly, we have said goodbye to those that have died for our freedom.
We pray that each and every person can return home to their families safe and whole, but in cases where our veterans need medical help or long-term care we are prepared.    Not only do we have Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Harrison County, but we also have an outstanding nursing care facility.
Having always believed that we should do more than show our patriotism on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, in 2000 I was honored to co-sponsor legislation, with my fellow delegates, for funding to build the only state-of-the-art veteran’s skilled nursing residence in West Virginia.  As a result of our work, House Bill 4423 created a special Veteran’s Instant Lottery ticket that has generated just over 11 million dollars for the construction and continuing care of West Virginia’s heroes.
Veterans can now receive a full spectrum of long term care services, attention and help due a patriot.  “A home away from home” as one family describes their thanks for the care and attention their veteran is receiving here.
My visit to the Veterans Nursing Care Center on Veterans Day reminded me of how important it is to assist our service members and their families in their times of need.
So I encourage you to take time not only this month but every chance you get to thank a veteran and their family.  Why not visit the nursing home, talk with the residents they each have a story to tell and love to share their experiences.

-Senator Sam Cann