What does it mean to be a veteran? This one question has many answers and it can mean something different to everybody. Let's take a look at some of the points of view and try to understand a few of these beliefs.
One friend of mine believes that being a veteran is something to be extremely proud of. After all, you're serving the whole United States of America. That is quite an accomplishment.
My uncle was in the army for a little while. He knows why we need people to serve. He realizes that it isn't just about the honor; it's also about doing the right thing for our country. If we do our duty as citizens of the United States, we can help continue to make our country the greatest country in the world.
Someone who comes to my church has a son who went to Afghanistan. One Sunday, he talked about it. At first, he said, he thought his son had thrown away his life. However, very soon, he realized he was mistaken. On one of his son's visits, he asked, “What's really so great about being in the war?” The answer astonished him. “It isn't just being in the war, it's serving in the war. It means serving our country, and for that to be done, I would do anything.”
These are some amazing stories from amazing people. However, there is still a point of view to be addressed: people who have no interest in the war and no connection to it. These people still have opinions worth hearing about regarding veterans.
I firmly believe that veterans do something for us that we can never repay them for. Another one of my thoughts on the matter is that as well as repaying veterans, we also need to repay another group of people, a group that has made the ultimate sacrifice. We need to repay those who died inthe war.
We can all agree that the highest price that one person can pay is death. So answer me this one question: why do we think of only those who lived through the war when we say veteran? Aren't those who died in battle just as deserving of that title? Every Sunday at my church we read off the names of Americans who died in the war that past week. I believe this is an excellent example of how to pay respect to the soldiers who died.
This is what it really means to be a veteran. Yes, it means honor, but it also means something deeper. It means serving the United States with your life. It is our job, as citizens of the United States, to respect all of our veterans, including those who died in the war. We should do it because it's the only way we can ever hope to repay our debt to them, and because it's the right thing to do.