HelpAge USA Celebrates Veteran's Day

Phil Rudder

For generations, veterans have put their country before themselves and they deserve our gratitude and respect. To celebrate Veteran's Day this year we sat  down with HelpAge USA board member and US Marine Veteran, Phil Rudder.  Phil is the President of Red Oak Global Consulting and a member of the Council  on Foreign Relations.

What is it about HelpAge and our focus on vulnerable older people that  first interested you?

 "As a veteran, I have seen first-hand the issues that older people face in  developing countries. Americans tend to think that older people overseas are  revered; that their cultures ensure their well-being, but I know that this is not  always the case.  Poverty affects people of all ages and in many cases older persons are the ones that suffer the most, as their needs are often not considered in humanitarian responses and aid programs. I wanted to learn more about the issues that older people in developing countries face and work with an organization that is hard at work addressing and helping to solve these problems." 

How does age play a role in being a veteran today?

vietnam vet

"Like others who are aging, older veterans have specificneeds that must be considered. As this population continues to grow, steps must be taken to address these issues. Currently, more than hald of the veterans in the US are over the age of 60. This is similar in many developing countries. As veterans age they require services that address a variety of issues including the changing health risks they face, as well as financial challenges that come with retirement. The 2015 Declaration by the General Assembly of the World Veteran's Federation considers that "all casualties, and especially those which cause severe disability, worsen with age and cause a lot of health and social problems, meaning that these people are in need of greater care and appreciation for the sacrifices they have offered."

 older women

Do you think there should be a global day of recognition like so  many other groups recognized by the United Nations?

"There is no internationally recognized day for those who have served  their country in military service. Setting aside a global day of recognition  would be beneficial to raising awareness of veterans' unique needs as  they age."


How can others show their appreciation for veterans? 

"Thank a veteran for their service and honor the sacrifices they made. Capture your actions in a picture and share on social media using the hashtags #ithankedavet & #yourturn."