What is a Veteran?
Defined as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable” by Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the literal definition of the word veteran gets the point across, but that’s not all there is to it.
What does it mean to be a Veteran?
A military veteran is someones daughter or son, brother or sister, mother or father, best friend or colleague, no more extraordinary than your neighborhood mailman (who also may even be a military veteran). At some point though, that father of two or co-worker decided to step far out of their comfort zone and commit to something bigger than themselves.
Political views and certain habits were set aside so that person could start new and go down a path less traveled. Some did it solely because they really loved their country and the idea of fighting for something, while some may have joined the military simply for the college money, or even just to have a hot meal every day and a guaranteed paycheck every day.
Being a military veteran means that at some point throughout your life the importance of integrity, respect, and dedication were instilled upon you, lifelong friends were made, and the habit of leaving a place better than you found it was developed. You learned the value of teamwork, you learned how to miss home, miss your family, miss your dog. And they missed you.
So what is a veteran? It’s a person who if given the chance, would do it all over again.
Veterans Day is coming up on November 11, 2017.
Don’t hesitate to buy your closest veteran a beer, and if you’re a veteran that happens to be reading this, enjoy the beer.