Why We Celebrate Our Veterans

There are many men and women, who serve their communities, every day. Police officers, Firemen, EMT’s, nurses, doctors, and more. They work crazy hours, holidays, days and nights, in inner cities and small towns. Some are paid really well for what they do, but most are not. Most of them don’t do it for the paycheck. They do it to help other people.

And there are many men and women who serve their country. Thousand upon thousands, in government agencies, who move the paperwork, cut (or create) the red tape, to keep the machine moving forward. Even Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, and (Yes) The President. All doing what they think is best to maintain our Constitutional Republic.

And then, there’s the Soldier, Airman, Seaman, and Marine. The kid who might’ve joined right out of High School, to find a way to pay for college, to the “old timer” who’s hitting her 25 year mark. The men and women who walk, daily, in combat zones, natural disaster sites, enemy occupied territory, cartel hot zones…

How many of your co-workers, or neighbors, will take a bullet for you? How many of your friends were trained in Escape and Evasion, knowing that they could be captured, tortured, and beheaded at some point in their “career”? And do that, willingly, to protect your Freedom?

How many do you know that would have (or did) sacrifice their time away from those they love, blood, sweat, life and limbs, to protect you and yours, and the freedoms we all have? How many do you know that stood on the wall, so you didn’t have to?

Veterans are the ones who’ve made those sacrifices. Whether they were volunteers or draftees, they sacrificed everything to protect the dreams and promises afforded to us by our Constitution. In fact, the Oath of Enlistment is the same for every branch of the Armed Services:

I 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.

Most Veterans will tell you that just because they were discharged it doesn’t mean the Oath doesn’t still apply. At some point the uniform get’s taken off, but what was inside is always there.

You learn some things about that oath, when you walk on foreign soil. You come to realize that America really is the Land of the Free, Because of the Brave. That our imperfections are small and surmountable, in comparison to so many in this world, and there are very valid reasons why people want to immigrate to America. You understand that the sacrifices are more than worth it, they’re necessary.

Americans: As you exercise your rights to free speech today, thank a Veteran for that right. As you watch your morning news this morning, thank a Veteran. As you openly pray, to God or Buddha or Allah (or even not pray at all), thank a Veteran. As you file that discrimination lawsuit or harassment claim today, thank a Veteran. As your vote is counted (and recounted), to ensure the integrity of our process, thank a Veteran.