Army veteran Carlos Berrios speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony...

Army veteran Carlos Berrios speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony as fellow vet, Dora Mayfield, second from right, and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, far left, look on at the Mitchell Field complex in Garden City (Aug. 9, 2011) Credit: Photo by Kevin P Coughlin

As a teenager in India, before I moved to the United States, I watched a caravan of military trucks carry Indian soldiers to the Pakistan border during the India-Pakistan War. On both sides of the national highway for several hundred miles, thousands of people cheered the soldiers, offering fruits, sweets and drinks, and expressing gratitude to men and women in uniform for the risking their lives in defense of their country. Even after retirement, military personnel are highly respected in Indian society and offered special privileges.

In the United States, on the contrary, too many veterans are homeless -- some on Long Island and in New York City. This is a national tragedy.

Therefore, I salute County Executive Edward Mangano for recognizing veterans for their service and dedication to our nation and supporting a program that provides shelter to homeless veterans on Long Island ["Nassau finishes renovation of 1st of 42 homes for veterans," News, Aug. 10].

Varinder K. Bhalla, Albertson