Our job as veterans is to live our lives in such a way as to be worthy of the sacrifice of those who never made it home. They gave their tomorrows for our today. We must never forget that, nor them.
We all lost friends, and we were all changed by our service in ways that we never expected, ways that sometimes took time to understand and accept. We need to embrace that, and build upon it. Use those experiences to make a better nation for all of us, especially for our children, our families. We all have skills to offer, especially the core values of leadership, accountability, and willingness to sacrifice for those around us, our brothers and sisters who took the oath as we did.
Those who have never served will never fully understand the bond of friendship, of love between comrades, brothers in arms, that transcends time and circumstance. Years may pass between us, but if an old shipmate calls, it is as if time never advanced, that age never asked it’s bill be paid. We still respond as we remember them, young and immortal, fresh faced and in the prime of youth, ready to meet our fate.
My wife could never understand how I could take a call from an old shipmate at O-Dark thirty, and head out to talk with him, do what I could to help him out. I have brought a brother home to share my couch, my meals, whatever I could. It is more than a Christian thing, It is the promise of one veteran to another that we will always give you as hand up. Brother to brother. I have an obligation to my own family to see that their needs are met, but beyond that, if I can help a fellow veteran, I feel honor-bound, blood-bound, to do so.
May no soldier go unloved, uncared for.
God Bless all our veterans, and all who have taken the oath.