Don’t know who wrote this, but it speaks volumes!
To understand us Military Veterans you MUST know:
We left home as teenagers or in our early twenties for an unknown adventure.
We loved our country enough to defend it & protect it with our own lives.
We said goodbye to friends & family & everything we knew.
We learned the basics & then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the Earth.
We found new friends & new family.
We became brothers & sisters regardless of color, race or creed.
We had plenty of good times, & plenty of bad times.
We didn’t get enough sleep.
We smoked & drank too much.
We picked up both good & bad habits.
We worked hard & played harder.
We didn’t earn a great wage.
We experienced the happiness of mail call & the sadness of missing important events.
We didn’t know when, or even if, we were ever going to see home again.
We grew up fast, & yet somehow, we never grew up at all.
We fought for our freedom, as well as the freedom of others.
Some of us saw actual combat, & some of us didn’t.
Some of us saw the world, & some of us didn’t.
Some of us dealt with physical warfare, most of us dealt with psychological warfare.
We have seen & experienced & dealt with things that we can’t fully describe or explain, as not all of our sacrifices were physical.
We participated in time honored ceremonies & rituals with each other, strengthening our bonds & camaraderie.
We counted on each other to get our job done & sometimes to survive it at all.
We have dealt with victory & tragedy.
We have celebrated & mourned.
We lost a few along the way.
When our adventure was over, some of us went back home, some of us started somewhere new & some of us never came home at all.
We have told amazing & hilarious stories of our exploits & adventures.
We share an unspoken bond with each other, that most people don’t experience, & few will understand.
We speak highly of our own branch of service, & poke fun at the other branches.
We know however, that, if needed, we will be there for our brothers & sisters & stand together as one, in a heartbeat.
Being a Veteran is something that had to be earned, & it can never be taken away.
It has no monetary value, but at the same time it is a priceless gift.
People see a Veteran & they thank them for their service.
When we see each other, we give that little upwards head nod, or a slight smile, knowing that we have shared & experienced things that most people have not.
So, from us to the rest of the veterans out there, we commend & thank you for all that you have done & sacrificed for your country.
Try to remember the good times & make peace with the bad times.
Share your stories.
But most importantly, stand tall & proud, for you have earned the right to be called a Veteran.