To be a Veteran is a very special thing. In this current day and age, it means that you willingly joined to fight a war. Approximately, less than 15% of the US population have served in the Armed Forces. To be a Veteran is to be a part of those few who were willing to sacrifice it all for a better tomorrow. When I joined the United States Marine Corps, I was 18 and filled with the desire to prove to myself that I can become one of those few. It was the most impactful and wisest decision I ever made. I learned what it is to want the American dream and be willing to fight for it.
I was honored to serve with people of diverse backgrounds who represented what America truly is. The land of opportunity, the land of freedom. You never truly realize it till you hear the stories of those who emigrated here and were so inspired that they wanted to serve. That they wanted to put themselves in harm’s way to defend these ideals. I have watched those who I call brothers and sisters make the hard choices that no 20 year old should be making. FDR said it best “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear”.
There are many of us who came home and never left the desert. There are many of us who came home and are wadding through the jungles. We cannot forget those who made these sacrifices when other balked at the very notion of putting ideals and a way of life above all else. Many of us served so that we can comfortably slip into obscurity, knowing that we stood our watch when called upon.