As I sit here on Veterans' Day I reflect on what it means to me to be a Vet. A veteran is someone who chose to risk their life to preserve the freedoms of the country. We watched our brothers and sisters change for young scared kids to hardened soldiers,and sailors. We learned from those there before us. They guided us on our missions and helped us to learn what noone should have to ever learn. We lost people who served next to us and had to continue on.
We were never glorified nor did we ask to be. We did a job that had to be done. The choice to volunteer was ours, and we served with pride. Never once did we ask to go to war. We simply followed the orders of those apointed above us. For weeks month or years we were away from our familys and friends. In some cases we had to know our fellow Veterans would never return home.
Now many Veterans struggle with day to day life. They are trying to cope but are not understood or helped. Many choose to end their suffering at their own hands. Twenty Two on average per day commit suicide. Every day there is another group of young kids leaving and becoming Veterans. Most will return, however none will return the same.
For all those who have served or will serve I say Thank You.
Lt. C. USAF