In a word, what is a veteran?
“Selfless”? A soldier sacrifices his individuality to become one of the troop. He wears the uniform. He follows commands. He embraces the mission. A war is only won when the soldier values the cause and his comrades more than himself.
“Courageous”? To join the troop is to step into courage. The risk is high. The mission. Is daunting. The soldier’s life, as well as all colleagues, may be required of them. All for the cause of freedom. Yet the step into the fray when called.
“Heroic”? Much of the prosperity and opportunity we have in the United States is an outcome of our military heroism. Our ability to vote and to protest. Our ability to speak up and to worship. Our privilege to work and to earn a living has been earned and preserved by selfless, courageous heroes for centuries.
Whatever concerns consume us in the present, we shouldn’t dismiss the high privilege of being an American. And, that privilege is significant because of our veterans.
They deserve our honor and gratitude. What might we be without them?