Take Time to Thank a Veteran
(November 11, 2010)
|WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2010 – My daughter came home from school the other day and
told me she had learned about Veterans' Day in class.|
“I told the teacher my mom is a veteran,” she said proudly.
Her words touched me. I was thrilled that she had remembered my service and
proud that she felt the need to share it. I separated from the active-duty Air
Force after eight years of service nearly six years ago, and have long since put
away my old uniforms and photo albums.
Still, my pride at having served is as strong as ever. I loved being a part of
something so much bigger than myself, and still miss the camaraderie and deep
friendships a military lifestyle fosters.
And I feel a deep sense of pride to think I'm tied in some way to other
veterans, particularly after this past decade of war.
Today, the nation celebrates Veterans' Day, a day set aside to honor American
veterans throughout history for their service and sacrifice.
Only a fraction of Americans choose to serve, but their sacrifice is anything
but small. Our servicemembers put themselves in harm's way –- some paying the
ultimate sacrifice -- so we can go to bed each night in a free nation. And
they've been doing so since the birth of our nation.
Our most recent veterans particularly need our support. They served with honor
and valor, but many move on with the visible and invisible wounds of war.
In a recent speech, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, noted that many servicemembers and their families have endured five
yearlong or up to 25 shorter deployments since 2003.
“From the everyday sacrifices of missed birthdays, soccer games and special
moments each family cherishes, to the physical and psychological repercussions
attached to the post-combat experience, these are lives forever changed,” Mullen
As servicemembers transition out of the military and into other endeavors, they
need our support just as much as those who currently serve.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden,
often speak of the need to embrace our military families in our communities and
work places. That extends also to our veterans and their families.
Take time today to thank veterans for their service, whether they served decades
ago in World War II or last year in Iraq. And extend your support to them at all
times of the year. Together, we can let our veterans know they are appreciated,
and that their service and sacrifice never will be forgotten.
To read about some of the heroic men and women who have served the nation, visit
the American Forces Press Service
Web Special Report: “Veterans' Reflections". Stories will be posted about
veterans from World War II, the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and the Gulf War
throughout the month of November.
Also take time to see the
AFPS Special Report: "Veterans Day 2010", featuring articles and photographs
from Veterans Day ceremonies around the globe.
by Elaine Wilson|
American Forces Press Service
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