American flags waving in the wind on a field

The third Monday of February marks Presidents’ Day. It is a federal holiday and, in Michigan, a state holiday as well.

Do you know why we celebrate Presidents’ Day? We suggest that you check out this interesting article by USA Today. As the article notes, the answer to that question is actually the subject of some debate.

Some people believe that we should use Presidents’ Day to honor two of our most noteworthy presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, others consider it to be a day to honor all of our presidents.

We won’t attempt to settle that debate here.

However, as a law firm that works with veterans throughout Michigan, we want to share more about these two important reasons to celebrate on February 20th:

  1. Many American presidents served in battle.

Many veterans who file for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs served in military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Bosnia, Korea and other regions. They should know that many of our nation’s presidents served our country in combat as well.

It starts with our very first president, Washington, who served as the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. More recently, our 41st president, George H.W. Bush, fought in the Pacific as a U.S. Navy pilot during World War II.

We should also point out that that many people who were candidates for president served in combat as well. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) readily comes to mind. You should read his gripping first-person account of his experience as a prisoner of war for five years in North Vietnam.

As ABC News reports, to this day, McCain cannot “raise his arms high enough to comb his hair” and tries to avoid “repetitive exercise involving his arms” due to the injuries he suffered during his service.

  1. A total of 31 presidents served in the military.

Out of 45 presidents, a total of 31 served in the military, as the USO notes. The Veterans Health Administration provides a complete list of those presidents, including the highest rank they held while in service.

The majority of presidents served in the Army or as militia members. However, since the mid-20th century, the U.S. Navy or Naval Reserve produced the most veterans sworn into office.

Of course, military service is not required to enter the Oval Office. However, the traits that military life instills – honor, courage and leadership – clearly prepare a person to become the leader of our country.

When you celebrate Presidents’ Day as a veteran, you are actually celebrating many of your fellow veterans and honoring all that they have gone through and lost in exchange for our freedoms. The Disability Attorneys of Michigan hope you enjoy the holiday and take a break from your schedule to enjoy time with family and friends.

If you need assistance with your VA disability benefits claim, please feel free to contact us to discuss your case. We focus specifically in the area of disability benefits claims and consider it to be an honor to work with so many clients who served our country.

I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.