Many of you have soldiers in your family, as do we.
I thought this post by an Iraq war vet was touching about the ways his service has changed him:
First, there is no sense of pride or purpose quite like the pride or purpose of serving your country. There are moments I’ll never forget: The first time I saluted the flag wearing my country’s uniform . . . shaking hands with a World War II veteran at Fort Benning — just before boarding my own flight to war . . . sitting, terrified, just behind the door gunner of a Chinook helicopter on my first night in Iraq, watching the tracers rounds from a distant firefight. Every veteran has their own indelible memories, and virtually every veteran feels pride and purpose in their own service. In fact, it is that loss of purpose that is often most damaging when vets come home, when their “mission” ends.
Second, service taught me humility. The men I served with demonstrated courage that the vast majority of Americans cannot comprehend. And this courage came from ordinary men. I think it’s comforting for Americans to view combat veterans as somehow different from them — a different kind of person — thus removing any sense of conviction that they, too, could have served — that they, too, could have laid their lives on the line. Yet the men and women I served with downrange were just like me . . . and just like you. They just made different choices. First, to serve their country, and — second — to rise to the occasion when their lives were on the line.
But there was one more way it changed him. Read about it here.
Thank you, veterans, for your sacrifice and service. We don’t tell you enough.