A veteran is person that voluntarily or maybe not so voluntarily, left their home and family to serve in a faraway land under less than vacation like circumstances.
A veteran is a person that their first ride in an automobile, train, boat or plane likely had the United States Stars and Bars on the side of it.
A veteran has slept in tight quarters ship sailing the Pacific, a frozen river valley of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the Middle Eastern deserts, and now the Afghan caves with as little protection as a poncho liner.
A veteran has traveled the world to great port calls and places that give them nightmares.
A veteran has fought insurgents trying to kill him, watched his buddies die, bandaged wounds of her comrades, and then turned the corner to risk her own life to rescue innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.
A veteran is a person that willingly wrote a check to the United State Government where the payment line said “payable up to and including sacrificing my life”.
Veterans have come home to their country to a ticker tape parade, a cold shoulder and rotten tomatoes, a resounding nationwide parade and they have come home to families that just cannot understand how the trauma of war has changed them forever.
A veteran understands and has seen how lives can change in an instant.
A veteran’s nightmares have buddies’ names attached to them.
A veteran still serves b/c they used their GI Bill to better their community and became your local teacher, police officer, barber, paramedic, nurse or doctor-as many of our Alumni have.
A veteran is the woman that gets out of her wheelchair and stands at rapt attention during the Fourth of July parade when Old Glory goes by, even on her arthritic knees.
An exceptional poignant one for me, a veteran is resilient in the face of obstacles and will willingly sacrifice sleep, food, and personal freedoms to accomplish their nation’s objectives.
A veterans’ scars, visible or invisible, gave us the right to assemble where we are today, the right to worship the way we choose, vote how we wish, permit us to speak freely, and for us to celebrate our freedom.
May Your GOD Bless you and keep you safe.
Written by James Mason, Commander US Navy, WOLFPACC medical student.