I am a veteran. I didn’t fight in any war or conflict, but I am a veteran. An Army veteran.
I enlisted in 1975, served four years active duty, and thankfully, never saw combat.
I am a veteran. Here are the words I said as I raised my right hand and swore allegiance to my country, its constitution, and its President:
“I, Jan Grace, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Yes, I am a veteran.
And there are many, many more like me.
My heart goes out to those veterans who were involved in combat situations. They were called upon to not only swear an oath, but to live it out. I cannot imagine what it was like to go to war; to be required to shoot at someone, or to be shot at.
I can’t comprehend what it was like to fight people from other nations; Germans, Japanese, Italians, or Koreans. I cannot fathom walking through the jungles of Vietnam or Cambodia, never knowing if you’d see home again.
It’s impossible for me to know what my fellow veterans experienced on the mountains of Afghanistan or the burning desert of Iraq. It’s simply beyond me.
I salute all of my country’s veterans; whether they carried a rifle in combat, or punched a typewriter in peace time. Regardless of their task, they answered the call to serve, they honored their oath of commitment, and they were prepared to defend not only the constitution, but every single person who is called an American.
Including people who couldn’t care less.
I salute the veterans, and I salute their families; the husbands, wives, children, and parents of those who served or are presently serving.
Veterans, though I don’t know what combat is like, I do understand your willingness to serve, and serve well.
I’m asking each of you who read this post to thank a veteran for their service. It matters not what you think of the military, the nation’s policies or its political leaders; you owe the veterans AT LEAST a word of thanks.
Because someone had to do it.