How do we honor our Vets, celebrating Veterans Day? How can we honor the Veteran in our lives? I’m sure when you read the headline, you were probably confused. I wanted to make sure you take the time to thank the people who made our freedom possible. Without their efforts, we could neither read nor write what we choose here in America.
Today on Veterans Day, I’d like to honor the men and women and their families for their service to our country. In my life, I’ve been lucky enough to interview and talk with veterans who served from World War One to the present War on Terror. These men and women are some of the finest people I’ve known in my life. The stories and courage they told me have provided strength and courage throughout my life, and I hope today to inspire you to take action on their behalf. There are three traits that all the men and women I’ve known from the military share. They are the foundation of why they do the things they do; this may give you a unique look into their lives and that of their families.
The first quality is veterans believe in is that sacrifice is worth the price of freedom. For many who serve our country have a unique understanding as to what it takes to be the home of the free. Their sacrifice includes leaving loved ones behind to travel the world for the cause of freedom. Every generation has done it and continues doing it so we have our freedom. They miss their family members’ birthdays, the birth of a child, anniversaries, and too many holidays to remember. If you’ve missed even one of these special events, you probably remember the pain you felt. Imagine being half way across the world when a special event happens. For our veterans, missing special events in their lives is part of the job.
The second quality veterans believe in is honor. They don’t just believe it, they live it. Spend time around a veteran’s hospital and you get a lesson in honor that is unmatched by anything else. Young men and women are surrounded by their military family, providing them strength and courage during their time in the hospital. If you talk enough to vets, you uncover the bond they have for each other and their fellow vets. When they go down in battle, their brothers or sisters in arms make sure they get back home safely as soon as possible. When they don’t come home alive, the military community works to envelop their family members to give them the love and support they need to survive through this traumatic event.
The final quality veterans believe is love for family, community, and country. Spend time around veterans and you quickly discover how much they love their families, communities, and country. For many of these men and women, they couldn’t imagine doing anything else with their lives. They, like generations of their family members, believe in investing in our country’s future. They believe they are providing their children the ultimate gift, freedom. They teach through doing, not just talking about it. They provide a connection to their communities that will last for generations.
You cannot go into a small town square anywhere in America that doesn’t have a veteran’s memorial for the generations of their children who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Many of the vets I talked with share stories of their loved ones who chose to serve in difficult times and helped to keep our nation and the world free. These veterans believe in paying the price to insure freedom for future generations. Their towns and families never forget their sacrifice.
Now what do I want you to do to honor these men and women and their families? I want you to promise me that you will get more involved in their communities. You can help their families by giving your time. Take time today and over the next several months to help our veterans get on their feet. Promise me that when their children need help you will be there and when our Congress decides to provide limited support for these men and women you will let you know that you will not tolerate this behavior.
Together we can make a difference to the people who give so much so that you can read this today and every day. Together we can make a difference in the world for these families who sacrifice so much for our freedom. As you celebrate Veterans Day, let’s see how much of a difference we can all make in the lives our veterans.
If you are looking for a more personal look at Veterans Day, I share my thoughts at How Can Entrepreneurs Salute Our Veterans?
See you next week when we share a leader’s story that changed our country by inspiring a generation to reach for the moon and beyond. See you then.