Each Memorial Day, we recognize those who have given their lives for our country. I believe we should also recognize veterans who have suffered physically and mentally in defending our freedom. No one returns from combat duty undamaged; this is evident in an average of more than 20 veterans committing suicide daily, homelessness and untreated mental health problems. All Americans, as beneficiaries of their courage and sacrifice, owe our veterans more than verbal gratitude.
Fortunately, we can make a gesture of gratitude to many veterans by supporting Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services, a non-profit certified service dog charity located here in Columbia.
I encourage you to visit paals.org and learn about the significant impact of multiple programs that provide specially trained service dogs to assist veterans in coping with the devastating effects of combat. There is a wide range of opportunities to give financial support and volunteer with the reward of making a positive impact on the lives of our freedom fighters.