Today has special meaning for me. I am a US Army veteran and today is Veteran's Day. It is the day when we celebrate all of the US soldiers throughout time who stand up and serve, swearing an oath to do their duty at any cost - even their life.
In the history of this country, many soldiers have paid that price in service to the ideals we believe in. They have given their lives to defend these ideals, as well as to help others wherever possible. They are heroes in every sense of the word, and I am honored to count myself among these proud people. They are paid almost nothing for the amount of time they put in, and yet they serve anyway. They are taken from their families and loved ones, flown halfway around the world, and they offer no complaints. Instead, they merely pick up their weapon and stand a post, their backs straight and sure.
I have had the honor of meeting some truly exceptional people during my time serving in the Army. People who are in a class above the rest. I make it a point to thank my fellow soldiers anytime I see them on the street. Sure, I served my time, just as they are serving now. That service deserves my recognition and respect, and I make sure to give it always. I even have a rather large patch on the back of my jean jacket proclaiming my support of soldiers.
When people thank me for my service however, I don't know what to say. I was lucky in that I never had to be involved in a war, never had to shoot at anyone. Sometimes I feel like I really am not on the same level as so many of my brothers-in-arms who are dodging bullets as we speak, fighting to stay alive while doing their duty. But I did serve, so I guess that's something. I stumbled on a post by someone else that tells a true tale, and it has reinforced for me why I should be proud to be a veteran. It talks about the blank check all of us soldiers write when we choose to serve. I urge all of you to read this post. I like the imagery of this idea, and I'm proud that I was able to do my part.
Soldiers deserve our respect and thanks. At all times. If you know someone who is a soldier, thank them today for writing their own blank check. If you see a soldier on the street, thank them. Spend today with your families, and be thankful for all the freedoms our soldiers have bought us with their blank checks.
God bless all soldiers in the United States Military. May they all come safely home.