Veteran: from a Latin word meaning, old or mature. In today’s vernacular, it refers to someone having served or experienced an occupation over a period of time.
To each of you who have served our country “having served or experienced an occupation over a period of time” in one of the branches of the military—we honor you and say “thank you”. From what has been termed “the greatest generation”, to those who have served most recently, this nation owes each of you a debt of gratitude. You signed on, swore an oath to defend this country—a country made up of individuals who live in this “land of the free and home of the brave”. You were someone’s son or daughter, a brother or sister or even some someone’s mom or dad- and you signed on with a willingness to sacrifice even your own life for our freedoms. Your families were also called upon to sacrifice. You trained, studied, wore the uniform and served. You honed your skills, carried a weapon, turned a wrench, prepared meals, marched countless miles, bound up the wounded or filed paperwork. You may have served in the “Great War” in either the Pacific or European theaters, the rice paddies of Viet Nam, the motor pool, Korea, a mess hall, the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanistan, a medical team or at a desk—regardless of how, when or where- you simply served. Your life and service mattered then, and still matters today.
You are not forgotten.
And, while we remember the many who gave their lives in service to our country, today we honor you. You, the veterans—the one’s that we salute and say a heartfelt “thank you” for serving. You are worthy of this recognition and the gratefulness of a nation.
For those of you reading this who are not veteran’s, I urge you to acknowledge and say thank you to any and all veteran’s you know. Tell them why you’re thankful and how much their service means to you. And, while you’re at it—when you see someone in uniform, let them you know how much you appreciate their service and sacrifice right now.
It’s the right thing to do.