What Does It Mean To Be A Veteran?

America makes a lot of things, but the standout… the strongest, most resilient, honorable; dedicated, committed, and true American product that has had a significant effect on each and every one of our lives is the American Veteran, and November 11 is their day!  These silent sentinels of freedom stand ever vigilant to protect you, me, and the American way of life.  On this day, we have celebrations to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good of our nation!

So, what exactly does this sacrifice that our veterans sign up for look like?  A veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America”, for the amount of “up to and including their life.”  I believe that statement is just as true now as at was on April 19 1775, as the militiamen stood their ground in Lexington and Concord at the birth of our nation!

The freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as Americans have a cost.  They are paid for by the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.  They have been anted up in places like Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Bastogne, Normandy, the Pusan, Beirut, Kuwait City, Fallujah, and tens of thousands of other unnamed and sometimes unknown locations.  This collateral for this bill is paid in our hospital wards, Veterans Homes, and cemeteries.  The heavy cost of this bill is reflected in the tears of spouses, children, parents, and friends.  The sacrifices made are also reflected in the Pride and Honor of all who step forward, raised their right hand, and swore the oath to Protect and Defend our Nation.

Less than 1% of our American population step forward to make this commitment/sacrifice to guard our freedoms.  Each and every American Veteran has had a significant role in shaping America’s Past, Present, and undoubtedly our Future.  Their selflessness ensures that we do not have to worry about the grips of oppression, hopelessness, and fear!

So to those veterans that came before, those that I served proudly with, the men and women serving and sacrificing today, and to those that will follow and preserve our freedom in days, months, and years to come:

I thank you! I salute you!

And may God Bless you and may God Bless America.