WASHINGTON – There’s a new dress code for Veterans Day this year.
Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs are encouraging all former servicemembers to dust off their medals and wear them next month as a show of pride and patriotism.
“You don’t have to put them on only if you’re in a parade,” said VA Secretary Jim Nicholson. “Wear them when you go play golf. Wear them when you go to the store. Let America know that you took that oath and served.”
The idea is based on celebrations in countries such as Australia, where veterans and their family members routinely display their medals on national holidays.
Veterans organizations embraced Wednesday’s announcement.
“I think it’s a great way to increase patriotism,” said Terry Shima, executive director of the Japanese American Veterans Association. “More people will recognize our veterans, and more people will think about our current armed forces.”
Herb Rosenbleeth, director of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, said two of his World War II veteran relatives recently pulled out their old military decorations and have begun sharing stories with the family.