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This Memorial Day weekend, many Americans will remember and honor those loved ones and veterans who have died. One Ozarks man has made it his life’s mission to honor those wounded and ill veterans of America who are still surviving. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.
Steve Newton founded Silver Star Families of America in 1994 from the small Ozarks town of Clever, Missouri. Today, his organization has spread nationwide.
It supports homeless veterans, organizes letter-writing teams, and sends out Silver Star banners and certificates to the wounded and ill veterans of America.
Steve Newton joined me earlier today by phone to talk about his organization.
Newton said he first got the idea to start the organization when he encountered a woundedveteran in the hospital. He said when the soldier first returned, he was recognized and celebrated, but was soon forgotten about.
He added that his organization is unique in that it includes both wounded and ill soldiers,and that it recognizes those soldiers with mental illnesses sustained from war as wounded soldiers.
He said his organization looks at Post Traumatic Stress as a "wound of the mind," and that his was one of the first organizations to stand up forthose soldiers with suchconditions.
The Missouri General Assembly has just passed a bill on to the Governor which declares May 1 as SilverStar Families Day, a day to honor the wounded and ill soldiers of America.
Newton served in the Marine Corps and the Navy before starting the Silver Star Families of America. Any veteran who was wounded or who contracted an illness in a war zone can apply for the recognition of the Silver Star Banner by going to the organization’s website: silverstarfamilies.org.