During a Veterans Day Ceremony, I had the opportunity to hear two guest of honor speak at a JROTC event. One was a WW2 veteran pilot and the other a Vietnam Veteran infantryman. Their speeches were what I expected them to be. Both these gentlemen spoke from the heart about some of their experiences while serving our country during a time of war. Though they served in two separate wars during two separate eras a generation apart, they shared the same passion and honor of service and sacrifice for this country and the people they love.
Being a retired Marine myself, I knew personally the emotions they shared and the overwhelming feeling that encompasses every service member that has stepped up to make the sacrifice their country asks of them.
From that moment, I started taking notice to all the veterans that were in attendance of this ceremony. Nearly all of them were wearing hats, patches, pins, or jackets displaying their branch of military service or unit they served in or the war they fought in.
As time went by, I took the time to speak with some of the Korea War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, and Iraq / Afghanistan veterans that were at the Veterans Hospital (VA) being treated. Nearly all of them at one point in telling their story would either stop talking or tremble in speech when discussing losing their buddies or when they had a life changing experience there. These emotions were powerful and as real today as the day they experienced it.
Just like hearing an old song can immediately take you back to the day your sub-conscience recorded it as a mark in time.
These emotions of American Values and honor to service and sacrifice run deep in our veins as American Patriots; willing to stand up and defend our way of life at all costs. But, it doesn’t stop with our military. We must acknowledge our public servants that risk their lives every day to maintain order and balance or rescue in a crisis with-in the walls of our great Nation. They have given much and must never be forgotten as they are the inner pillars with-in the walls.