Celebrating Veterans Day helps keep the memory of fallen soldiers alive and honors those who have continued to live on, but may have been forgotten, former Marine and NFL player Jeremy Staat said on "Outnumbered Overtime" Monday.
Staat, who was a close friend of fallen Army soldier and former NFL player Pat Tillman, said it moves him to see so much outward support for America's veterans.
"I just think back to my pedigree, being a third-generation veteran," he said. "My grandfather fought in World War II, my father was in Vietnam in the army, and then my service in Iraq. I just look at how many people who stepped up to the plate to serve our great country. It’s just humbling to me seeing this wreath being laid.
"It’s just like how many have been forgotten and how we have to continue to bring their memory alive by doing events like this.
"A nation that forgets its veterans will itself soon be forgotten. And it’s just a very moving moment to be able to see this and just know that there were so many who have given their lives for their great country."
Staat also said veterans continue to struggle with mental and physical health issues, but by giving them hope and direction, the country can help heal their wounds. He also criticized the corruption within VA hospital system and called for reform.
"The biggest thing for me... is giving them hope," he said. "Giving them an angle, showing them that, hey your service is over but you can continue to serve your community, your state, your country.
"Showing them that just because your service in the military is over doesn’t mean it’s the end. Give them hope that there are other avenues."
"At the same time, give them the support that they need," he added. "As a third-generation veteran, my father has been out of Vietnam for 50 years. He’s been in the VA system for 12 [years] and he's still fighting for his VA rating. There's something wrong with that.
"And right now our Vietnam veterans have the highest rate of veteran suicide next to female veterans. And so there's a huge epidemic that people don’t want to talk about, because it's kind of one of those taboo subjects... because it makes us look bad politically. That’s where we're really missing out. We're missing the point."