Veterans: Special People

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Veteran:
1 a : an old soldier of long service, b : a former member of the armed forces
2 : a person of long experience usually in some occupation or skill (as politics or the arts)

My heartfelt thanks to all the men and women of this great land who served, or are serving, in the military.

What does it take to be a “Veteran of the Armed Forces”? What kind of person would raise their hand, and repeat the following words:

“I, (Name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, so help me God.”

Have you ever thought about it?

I understand some of you were probably drafted; “forced” to sign up for military service. Others, like me, enlisted after the draft ended. Regardless, it takes a special person to serve.

A special person?

Consider what a veteran must prepare themselves to do:

Be deployed to anywhere in the world, at a moments notice
Leave their family and friends for an indefinite amount of time
Work for minimal pay
Work as a team with others
Support their leader’s decisions, orders; though they may disagree
Learn a “trade” that may not have “civilian” job possibilities
Live and fight in extreme conditions
Keep physically and mentally fit
Learn how to be afraid, but still complete the mission
Cope with loneliness
Fight, even kill, if necessary
Face the possibility of battle, and death

Yes, it takes a special person.

Oh, sure, they get “benefits”. But consider what they must endure to earn those benefits. If they’re to be a career soldier, they will give 30 years of their life to earn a 75% retirement package. 30 years of laying their life on the line, for 75% of their base pay.

Yep, it takes a special person.

We live in a crazy world; and a dangerous one! I cannot imagine what would happen to our great United States of America if it weren’t the special people called “veterans”.

Thank you, veterans, for serving. Thank you for doing the hard part of freedom. Thank you for your devotion to this great land.

And thank you for being special!

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your encouraging words. I took the oath during a perlious time in America. The Viet Nam war was escalating, President Kennedy had been assassinated in november of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated while I was in Viet Nam in 1968 and Bobby Kennedy was killed the very day I returned home from Viet Nam. I was 3 blocks from the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when it happened. Kids grew up quick in those days and the whole world seemed to me like it was turned upside down. Veterans were not always considered to be welcomed or honored in those days. But for many of us, myself included, we did what we were called upon to do and simply trusted in those who made the decisions to make the right ones. Looking back on it all I know that things could have and probably should have been done different during my tour of Duty. But I had the privelige to serve with America’s best and I just count it a blessing to have stood with such as those who wore the uniform and give whatever was asked of them. If I had it to do over again I would not bat an eye and if needed today I will stand my watch. I have traveled in many other countries during my life and this is still the best place I have ever seen. It was worth it all just to be an American!

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