This Veterans Day, November 11th, let’s take a moment to explore the striking overlap between those who serve in the military and our police men and women who proudly wear the Blue. And, most importantly, to thank them for choosing to serve our country, not once, but twice in their careers.
Throughout protective services, veterans are represented at a much higher rate than nonveterans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.1 percent of post-9/11 veterans serve in the protective services, which include law enforcement, security guards, correctional officers and others. Comparatively, as few as 2 percent of nonveterans choose these careers.
How are veterans’ demographics different from civilians according to the U.S. Census?
- Likelier to be employed at ages 18-54.
- Completed more college.
- Higher earnings than peers in similar careers.
- More than a third of employed veterans work for a federal, state or local government.
Veterans’ skills support law enforcement goals.
How has an influx of highly trained veterans impacted law enforcement’s evolution? Look no further than the earliest Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, which recruited Vietnam vets and trained at Camp Pendleton, according to “Turn the pages on SWAT,” published by Officer.com. These elite players produced a law enforcement operation whose strategies have been duplicated by nations across the globe.
Significantly, as with military conflicts, criminal behavior adapts. It takes a nimble, searingly honest, and well-trained force to reconsider and revaluate community safety, both as it is happening and in its aftereffects. Today’s unpredictable mass shootings are incredibly sad examples of this evolutionary approach to responding to dangerous situations.
Our veterans of all wars clearly understand this demand to pivot as the nature of criminal activity changes.
What does a military veteran have in common with a police officer?
As published in this three-part series, veterans bring to law enforcement:
- Sense of purpose and mission.
- Advanced first aid training.
- Dedication to fellow officers.
- Physical fitness and professionalism.
- Understanding a chain of command.
These overlaps in skillsets and mindsets are what make the Boston Police Department, and departments across the United States, among the world’s best.
How can you celebrate and show your respect to our veterans?
Thank a police officer! As you’ve learned, there’s a good chance he or she’s served in the military. Also, never forget, Boston is a city steeped in military tradition. Take the time to visit our revered sites or attend the storied Veterans Day Parade, featuring the West Point Marching Band.
Veterans Day celebration ideas include:
- Tour the S.S. Constitution, located inside Boston National Historical Park as part of the Charlestown Navy Yard. “Old Ironsides” is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
- Walk the Freedom Trail — Rediscover why you love Boston by exploring this 2.5-mile route of 16 historic sites.
Background story to Veteran’s Day
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the Allied nations and Germany ceased fighting. Although World War I formally ended June 28, 1919, this moment of peace is recognized as the end of “the war to end all wars.” Veterans Day became a legal holiday on May 13, 1938, and was celebrated as “Armistice Day,” to honor veterans of WWI. In 1954, veterans service organizations successfully lobbied the 83rd Congress to replace the word “Armistice” with “Veterans.” On June 1, 1954, November 11th became the day to honor American veterans of all wars.
The Hundred Club — Serving the Community
Since 1959, The Hundred Club of Mass. has cared for the families of fallen officers and firefighters. We bridge the gap between the end of paychecks and the start of death benefits, eliminating a burdensome worry for grieving families. This assistance also includes a lifetime of services: college scholarships, financial and legal support, counseling, and enrichment programs. Help us help those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our communities. Your generosity provides immediate support to the families of these everyday heroes — funds they can rely upon to pay rent, groceries, and other bills. Help us continue the tradition of caring for those who care for us. Donate to the Survivor Benefits Fund: https://100clubmass.org/donate/