You signed up, you were willing to go…at some point we realized that some of us may not come home. We may give up our youth, our fun, our future…it may all come to an end on the battlefield. As we celebrate this Veteran’s Day, remember that you signed the blank check. It’s not for you to remind others that you did, but rather to remind yourself of who you are, what you’re capable of committing to, what you’re capable of achieving.
Veterans toppled the Nazi regime, fought back Imperial Japan, battled for one another during the fight for Hue City, created mayhem the likes of which had never seen before on Highway 80, so much that it was renamed the “Highway of Death”, you blitzed a country and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in a little bit more time than a two week vacation. You gathered the Northern Alliance to take on the Taliban and find those responsible for the September 11th attacks. You rushed an intersection for your brother or sister. You applied a tourniquet, you drove an ambulance, flew a close air support mission or picked up the wounded and airlifted them to safety. You sweat through your gear while walking foot patrols on what felt like the surface of the sun. You spent long hours cramped in a tank, Humvee, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, or LAV, conducting patrols. You fixed and armed helicopters and planes. You ensured that weapons worked, and troops were fed.
You did so many great things and you have so much more ahead of you. As you transition out of your time in the military remember who you are and where you came from. Remember you were no coward when the call to something greater came down the line. You answered the call.
So as we laugh and celebrate (the Marine Corps will celebrate a little later in the day, due to the hangover from the night before), thank yourself for your service. Thank yourself for challenging yourself to write the blank check for your country, for people who will never know you and may never thank you.
As they do thank you, shake their hand, say you were happy to do it and move on with your day. We know it’s become kind of a joke, but remember there was a time when a lot of us didn’t know if the day we were remembered on would be in November or May.
Enjoy your day Veterans and remember what you’re capable of.
Writing a blank check so that others may live in happiness without fear.