Veterans Day: Defenders of Freedom

Veterans Day 2017 comes amid a world ripe with geopolitical tension and a real sense that freedom and prosperity is being threatened from abroad and from within. North Korea achieving nuclear capability and threatening the world; Iran not far behind and consolidating power in the Middle East; Islamist terrorism still waging war on the West; and natural disasters imperiling the safety of the homeland.

Standing against the inevitable threats that have and will continue to face us are men and women in uniform that pledge themselves to guard our liberty and our lives. They should always be honored for the choice that they make to dedicate themselves, and many times their families, to protecting our way of life.

North Carolina is home to some of the largest military installations in the world and prides itself on the military’s and veterans’ significant contribution to economies and communities across the state. We have more than 100,000 service men and women, and hundreds of thousands more veterans that call the Old North State home.

The prevalence of our vital military infrastructure gives us a unique sense of appreciation for the lives led by America’s finest. For a sense of just how large of an impact the business of protecting freedom has on North Carolina, check out a summary of key findings from a N.C. Department of Commerce report on the military footprint here:

Overall, the economic impact model estimates that the military supports roughly 10 percent of North
Carolina’s employment
• The military supports 578,000 jobs in North Carolina, nearly $34 billion in state personal income,
and $66 billion in gross state product
• 386,000 of the total military-supported jobs occur in the private sector
• Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Administrative and Waste Management Services,
and Construction are the top three military-supported private industry sectors
• 102,000 active duty military personnel were assigned to units in North Carolina as of June 2015, and
more than 78,000 individuals are projected to leave the military over the next four years
• The North Carolina National Guard has a strength of nearly 12,000, with more than 20,000 in the
• More than 20,000 civilian contractors are employed by the Department of Defense and the North
Carolina National Guard in North Carolina
• Department of Defense prime contracting in FY 2014 totaled $2.5 billion, with 81 percent of that being
performed in the South Central and Southeast prosperity zones
• 79 of 100 counties had prime contracting activity in FY 2014
• North Carolina’s active military personnel have in-demand occupational skills which could contribute to
private industries in the state as personnel separate from the military in the future
North Carolina has a total of 775,000 veterans that reside in every county across the state
• Military veterans in North Carolina received more than $8.2 billion in pensions, medical care and other
support from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs in FY 2014

North Carolina knows all the ways veterans improve our lives and is proud of the choice each and every veteran makes to serve this country and our future. To them, the veterans and their families that endure so much so that we may live our lives in peace, Thank You from First in Freedom Daily.

Happy Veterans Day

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