I am a veteran. I chose to serve my country, not because it was cool, but because I though it was the right thing to do. I didn’t join to try to be an sort of hero. I just wanted opportunities to travel the world, learn a decent job, and get a college degree. I was willing to make the sacrifices that many other’s weren’t. I raised my right hand and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States against enemies both foreign and domestic. Although I did not retire from the military, I served honorably. I don’t ask to be recognized. I don’t ask for free stuff. I don’t need people to buy me free beer or pat me on the back. I have done what my country has asked of me and I’ve demanded nothing in return. At sporting events when they ask veteran’s to stand to be recognize, I sit quietly and look around at the real heroes. I believe the it is because of other like-minded individuals from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different cultures, different races, and even different sexual preferences, that have swore the same oath that I swore to protect and defend our beloved country is what makes our country great.
Many people don’t understand the sacrifices that veteran’s have made. They have chosen to protect the United States of America, the values that we stand for, and the ideals that we uphold. They travel to distant lands, spend time away from friends and loved ones, and missed many holidays, birthdays, births, graduations, and other important events. Many service members do not get the opportunity to become a veteran as many never make it home.
When veteran’s day comes around I don’t ask for a day off work. I don’t post my photo to get recognition or praise. I just want to shake the hand or acknowledge others who were willing to do the same thing I did. These are the people I like to know. These are the truly great people who make this country what it is. These are the people that are always welcome and have a friend with me. Here’s to you. Cheers.