What Veterans Day means to me

SutherlandFamilyToday we celebrate Veterans Day. It’s a special day at Easter Seals because of the work we do all year to support veterans and military families. Last year alone we served about 165,000 members of this special community.

We asked some of our staffers at Easter Seals Dixon Center, the military and veterans’ arm of Easter Seals, what Veterans Day means to them. Their answers make us proud – and we thank them for their dedication.


Iraq“Veterans Day is the celebration of service, sacrifice and love of country by those willing to be part of something much bigger than themselves by serving in our armed forces.”

—COL David Sutherland, US Army (ret.), chairman and chief strategist, Easter Seals Dixon Center, 29 years in the US Army, first generation in his family to serve in the United States



Mitchel Veteranl

“A veteran is someone who is willing to give up everything to ensure that you and I have the freedoms that we often take for granted. It’s even more personal for me because I’m only here in the United States because of a Vietnam veteran who adopted me from a Vietnamese orphanage and brought me home.”

—Kim Mitchell, president, Easter Seals Dixon Center, 17 years in the US Navy, spokesperson for the Department of Defense 50 Year Vietnam War Commemoration Committee



Heidenheimer“Veterans Day is a day to take a moment and thank all of those who have stepped up to serve our country, past and present. Our family likes to use this as a day to especially thank the older veterans. It may have been a long time since they have served, but we should never forget them. In my mind, once a veteran, always a veteran; it is not something that you stop being as you age.  Times may change, veterans’ needs may change, but war has the same effects on our military men and women across the years. Their stories should not be lost, and what they have to say can be invaluable.  Veterans Day is also a day for me to teach my two young sons to respect those who have worn the uniform like their dad, uncle, cousins, and their grandfathers.  It is a time to remind them of the importance of freedom and what some people have sacrificed to make sure we keep it.”

—Sara Heidenheimer, administrative coordinator, granddaughter of two Army veterans, wife of an active duty Navy Chief



Veterans Day“Veterans Day has always been a day of reflection and thanks for those who do the hard work to keep my world safe. Now that I’m married to a disabled veteran from the Afghanistan conflict, it’s a day to remember how lucky I am to have people like him in my life. And it’s a day to thank him once again for the sacrifices he made for us.”

—Marie Manning, communications consultant, Easter Seals Dixon Center, and wife of a former U.S. Army and National Guard Sergeant



Kuhne“On Veterans Day, I honor the service. I honor the sacrifices. I respect the life decisions, and I am grateful for those who can stand in a position I physically don’t know if I could force myself to do. For me, Veterans Day is about each face. The one of a sister. A brother-in-law. A mommy. A dad. A leader who will always have your back – whether it be on a patrol or if you’re in a new town full of strangers and homesick for a family dinner. I thank those who have served so that I can have freedoms and safety. But it’s more than that. It’s about remembering them not only on November 11th – but also every single day afterwards.”

     — Nancy Kuhne, major gifts officer, Easter Seals Dixon Center, and military family member



Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

  1. katelyn panter Says:

    veterans day is a day to honor my great-grandpa and to have a family gathering and clean his headstone and decorate it and then maybe go to Washington to go visit the was and the 3 unknown soldiers.