Thank a Vet this Veteran’s Day

I am proud to be a veteran. This photo of myself, and my Chaplain’s Assistant SGT Mary Gonzales was take back in the early 1990’s on a training exercise in Texas. I was blessed to serve as a Chaplain in the Army Reserve and National Guard for twenty-two years. Moreover, now I have the opportunity to serve soldiers again as the Psychological Health Coordinator for the New Mexico Army National Guard.

I recently read this quote from the Opinion page of the New York Times, May 2013.

For nearly two generations, no American has been obligated to join up, and few do. Less than 0.5 percent of the population serves in the armed forces, compared with more than 12 percent during World War II. Even fewer of the privileged and powerful shoulder arms. In 1975, 70 percent of members of Congress had some military service; today, just 20 percent do, and only a handful of their children are in uniform. By Karl Eikenberry, retired Lieutenant general, former commander of forces in Afghanistan and David Kennedy, an emeritus professor of history.

The thought that less than one percent serve struck me with a bit of a surprise. As we celebrate this day, please remember that we live in a free society because a few members of our community are prepared to watch over us.

Enjoy your picnics, BBQs, the Veteran’s Day sales, as well as your day off, if you get one.

However, remember that event at this very moment men and women, fellow Americans are protecting our freedom and helping others all over the globe.

I recently saw this Tribute to Veteran’s on Facebook. I could not find an author to credit, but the words are thoughtful and appropriate for this special day.

What is a Veteran?

A “Veteran”- whether active duty, discharged, reserve, or retired is someone who, at one point in his or her life wrote a blank check made payable to “the United States of American,” for an amount up to and including his or her life.”

That is an honor. Moreover, there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact.

So enjoy Veteran’s Day, but remember to thank a Vet for their willingness to serve, their willingness to defend freedom.

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