The Importance of Veterans

Whether it be a family member, friend, or neighbor, most of us are fortunate to know someone who has proudly and honorably served our country. Because of our veterans we live in peace today. Our nation and our way of life has rested upon the shoulders of our veterans, who every night when we lay down to sleep, stand guard in defense of our freedom.

We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to those who have served and those currently standing in harm’s way. We must remember their sacrifice and keep our promise to our veterans by giving them the recognition they deserve. It is not just about thanking veterans for their bravery and their actions, but also remembering. Their sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. Freedom did not come cheap.

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Someone had to fight for it and that was our veterans. If we forget what they have done and we fail to recognize what our future soldiers will do, do we really deserve their protection? If we look at today’s “heroes” and “inspirations”, we find that pop singers or even actors at the top of the list. On social media, such as Instagram, pictures of Taylor Swift can be found with the caption “My Idol”. I won’t deny Taylor Swift’s talent, but I definitely wouldn’t go as far as calling her (or any other pop star) my idol. Social media had made me realize just how obsessed we have become with celebrity culture.

What happened to the days when we would aspire to be like our mothers, fathers or anyone else that has played a role in influencing our lives? Since when did The Kardashians become more important than the men putting their lives on the line to maintain peace and freedom for our country? Think of the real role models. Who are they? The genuine heroes include our veterans and our soldiers. They stand guard where others are scared to even travel, they have watched countless numbers of men and women perish before them, and they have witnessed untold horrors of war. Our soldiers have sacrificed more than we will ever possibly know. Veterans are important because they are here to remind us of all of our soldiers who have gone to war but didn’t come home alive. They fought for our country, our freedom, and our independence.

Without veterans, we would not live in the home we call the United States. Veterans are important because they remind us of the freedom that we so often take for granted. When it comes to the nitty-gritty, a veteran is not measured by rank, its character that is the true test. He is measured by his justice. It is the veteran keeping a clear moral compass even in the worst of times. Veterans are not like anaconda that hopes to surround and strangle the world into submission, but I suggest they resemble gardeners.

For just as it is with gardeners it is not enough for the gardener to love flowers; he must also hate weeds. As for one of the esteemed founding fathers of our country, Benjamin Franklin said our veterans know; there’s never a good war or a bad peace. The story from our veterans is that destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice and consistency. And I thank each who has stepped forward when others stepped back, placed themselves between us and danger, served as a heroic example of who we are and what we can dream to be. I thank them for their service.

Maybe they won’t say anything. Maybe they will simply smile and go on with their day, but either way it needs to be said. It needs to be heard. Just as Aladdin’s fabled genie would respond to the call of anyone who rubbed the magic lamp, our veterans also respond to a calling. Our soldiers defy criticism.

They don’t expect to receive applause, and the weariness of well doing is never abandoned because our veterans do not want a life of what-if for their country. Veterans keep us a step closer to immunity from the rogue regimes that seek to disrupt American life. In America, veterans past and future are where we may derive hope and assurance.