Of all the words bandied about during the recent election season, very few were about American military service members now coming home from combat in the Middle East.
So to mark today's Veterans Day observances this year, La Cañada Flintridge veterans are calling on their neighbors to bring their youngest brothers and sisters in arms back into the public conversation.
"If you don't know anyone in the service, you tend to be oblivious to the wars," said George Kritzman, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War who has lived in La Cañada Flintridge for 38 years.
"These guys are sacrificing their lives and getting wounded," said Kritzman, who was shot in the arm and suffered a debilitating bullet wound to the leg in Korea. "Let's give them some respect when they come home."
Respect, in this case, isn't just a state of mind. For local veterans, the term also means an awareness of and advocacy for veterans' needs, including medical and psychological care, emotional support, job training, education assistance and assistance for their family members.