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My Thoughts on Veteran's Day


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While this day has many different names around the world and in various countries, the United States calls today "Veteran's Day." To some people it has little meaning, or maybe it means another day off, or maybe it even means a few of your favorite stores hold discounts. For some people in the United States it has become a day where undying patriotism rises for a bit, and then shrinks down again. The official meaning/history behind Veteran's Day in the United States can be found here. No matter what this day means to most people, I hope I can shed some light onto what this day means for me and maybe other veterans.


Every year, usually on November 10th, my Facebook and Instagram are flooded with friends and family members who change their profile pictures to either themselves in uniform or a family member in uniform. They share stories about what they or a loved one did in the US Military, and it's often a day of reminiscing on time spent in the service. I am among the fortunate few who never had to face a deployment. There were many moments where it almost happened, but every time the deployment was moved/cancelled and my unit was not needed. So, my time served was all state-side. I am fortunate there. The memories I do have from my time in service are a complicated mixture of frustration with how stupid the Army could be, and times where I really loved what I was doing. That's about all I can share.


I have many friends who share stories on Veteran's Day. They tell about their time overseas, their time in danger, their time being shot/blown up/injured, and they share about the many times where they missed amazing moments with their families. When I read over their stories I find myself even more thankful that my service didn't end with the ultimate sacrifice of life. I was never called away from home for a long time, nor was I ever in danger due to an enemy force. But, for most of my veteran friends, that isn't the case.


When I think about and reflect on Veteran's Day, I am reminded of the incredible sacrifice that men and women in the United States have made to serve their country. This isn't to fluff my own feathers, but to lift up veteran's I know. Those who deployed, and those who didn't, agreed to lay their life down for not only one another, but for the people of the United States and for our allies. They agreed to be called at any time to serve those who are in need, giving up their own personal liberty and freedom to ensure that it came to others. Regardless of your stances on foreign policy and the United States Armed Forces, the sacrifice that these men and women are willing to, and sometimes do make is astounding. Even if their personal motivations aren't always ethical, they all agree to the same thing:


Oath of Enlistment (Non-Commissioner Officer): I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."


Oath for Commissioned Officer: "I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."


Also, here's my obligatory picture in uniform...



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