Veterans see increased public support for Veterans Day

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COLUMBIA - Veterans continue to receive more public support this Veterans Day according to VFW Post 280 Commander Jim Matthews. Matthews said schools and local businesses are becoming more involved in helping veterans. 

"The schools are asking for us to go down and hold flag etiquette classes," Matthews said. "Businesses are coming forward and coming up with donationsa and free meals for veterans."

Matthews said donations are slightly higher this year for needy veterans.

The Department of Defense paid professional sports teams to recognize veterans at games. Matthews said he thinks this is unnacceptable on the government's part. 

"To me it sounds staged," Matthews said. "I think the government should stay out of that kind of activity."

Matthews said the DOD should not have to pay people for a veteran to show up. He said he didn't like the DOD's methods, but said he thinks veterans are more appreciated public than before. 

"I was in Vietnam, when we came back from them we just about had to get of the planes and hide," Matthews said. "They were spitting at us, throwing stuff at us, and now we're being thanked for our services." 

Matthews said he expects donations to continue to rise and public support continue to grow through this Veterans Day. He said patriotism should not be something the DOD has to pay for.

"Patriotism shouldn't be bought, it should be given," Matthews said.