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Today's veterans finding greater acceptance

Militia re-enactor, Michael Piatt, of Holland takes part in Wednesday’s Veterans Day program at Old Sturbridge Village. Shawn Kelley. (click for larger version)
November 11, 2009
STURBRIDGE — Wednesday marked the 91st anniversary of the end of World War I. Since 1919, Nov. 11 has been a day to celebrate peace and to thank, remember and honor the men and women who have served the United States in the armed forces.

While the tradition of celebrating Armistice Day turned to that of Veterans Day over the years, so has the light in which many veterans are viewed upon returning from active service.

Some local veterans of different generations took time out of their day to look at the progress that has been made in support services for returning vets.

Champeau-Vilandre American Legion Post 109 Commander Thomas Chamberland is a Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force. His son, post Chaplin Brian Chamberland was stationed in Iraq with the U.S. Army in 2006.

Representing two different eras in the nation's history, the father and son came home to two different worlds after their terms of service and agree that, while steps have been taken toward improving conditions for veterans, there is still room for improvement.

"It's my perception that the guys in the service today are appreciated more than we were," the elder Chamberland said.

"I actually do have to agree with that," Brian Chamberland said, remembering the reception he received at Fort Campbell in Clarksville, Tenn. upon returning to the United States.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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