Benefits and Sacrifices of Being a Veteran

Military service is a mission and lifestyle embraced by less than one percent of U.S. citizens. On this Veterans Day, I’d like share a few of the benefits and sacrifices:

Thank You Veterans

  • The honor of folding the Flag for family members of deceased service members
  • Teaming up with strangers from all over the U.S. and from all walks of life
  • Camaraderie that forms when you know you’re all in it together
  • The quiet, humble demeanor of those who have sacrificed most
  • The sense of responsibility one feels when putting on the uniform
  • The courage of family members who say goodbye all too often
  • Learning that even a file clerk’s job contributes to the mission
  • Standing side-by-side with those who truly have your back
  • The importance of attention to detail
  • Creating home in a dorm room, a tent, an airplane hangar or a ship
  • Appreciating the faces and personal impact of national defense
  • Knowing that training seminars are held to keep you alive
  • That maturity grows through responsibility
  • That “earning your clothes” ties character to outward appearance
  • Watching the way military families look out for each other
  • Gaining the respect of fellow Veterans
  • Knowing that everyone is willing to clean a toilet
  • If one person needs to wear a sweater, we all wear a sweater
  • That sandbags don’t fill themselves
  • That the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful never fail to raise a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye

Many thanks to our Veterans. We respect you and honor you!

LISTEN TO CARRIE UNDERWOOD SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM (video)

Comments

  1. Laura,

    That was a superb article for Veterans Day! Nice work!

    As I think back on my AF days and ponder what is happening today, I can’t help but deeply consider what you mentioned. So many people have served this country. And those serving today are sacrificing a great deal too. It doesn’t seem to matter what generation we are talking about, each generation gives back via their service. Our son is on active duty right now. It amazes me how much today’s veterans give.

    In so many ways, it is wonderful that the nation takes time to thank veterans. Yet it is only veterans that truly understand the ‘deepness’ or the significant meaning of what you wrote. The deep emotional ties never seem to fade. It seems that no matter how many years pass, I still ‘wear the uniform’ and maintain my inner commitment to this nation. I know many others feel the same. I guess that never fades.

    Just as you said in your piece, I too still get emotional when I hear those songs!

    Our families understand and support us too. They give a great deal too as you know.

    Here is a ‘salute’ from one veteran to another! Thanks for your service! And thanks for putting out that article today!

    Cheers,
    Dan

    • Dan, thank you for your service to our country! Your heartfelt words will no doubt strike a chord with many – veterans, families and citizen supporters. I appreciate you taking time to comment here and so glad you enjoyed the article!

  2. Thank you for this moving, extremely well-written offering, Laurie. I am still attempting to clear the lump in MY throat after that magnificent (hold on, there seems to be something in my eye) rendition of our National Anthem. I believe it was the sheer force of the imagery more so than the vocalization that moved me so. As I watched, I couldn’t help but think; “This is why we serve(d)” Thank you for your service – brothers and sisters in arms, all!

    • Kevin, you are so welcome! Thank you for your service to our country. Everyone who served has a valuable story to tell. Hopefully on your new blog, you will share some of your insights as well! Thank you for commenting.

  3. Thank you for your service Laura, and for writing such a great, comprehensive piece about the benefits of why we do what we do, and why we did what we did. The cause and effect of our service, during war or peace, certainly has an impact on our souls for life. I once had a non-veteran say to me, ‘Hey, you all only serve a few years of your life and it is so minor compared to the decades you have left to live, so why don’t the veterans just get on with it?’

    I was stunned by what I had just heard!

    Your article explains it very well. We are tattooed for life with a pride that only a veteran can know the depth of.

    We might be the humble one sitting there quiet in a crowd, but if something were to happen and we had to rally for a cause, it would happen quickly, intuitively, and with precision. And those around us would feel confident and safe.

    Thank you to all of our veterans! I am eternally grateful.

    • And for yours, Cathy! So glad this struck a chord with you and hopefully with other Vets who experience just a few of the things I listed here. Indeed, it was a memorable part of life and something that never diminishes with the years. It was truly an honor to serve along with people like you!