When one writes about a recurring topic, we try to make the approach different from last time. It’s difficult when honoring veterans as the themes are usually similar – honor, commitment, sacrifice, love of country – and rightly so.
Veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces, today differ from those that served in conflicts prior to Vietnam. Many, in fact most of those who served in the world wars, in Korea, and in Vietnam were drafted. Like it or not, they were going. Today we take pride in an all-volunteer force. That is not in any way to disparage those who were drafted into service. Times are different.
Although technology has moved on, and the battlefields of today may look different than those of a generation ago, nothing ever replaces the soldier on the ground. To take a hill, cross a river, or overcome an enemy, it still must be done face to face. And whether we like it or not, some will make the ultimate sacrifice.
If serving in the military was ‘just another job’, then we would not observe days like Veteran’s Day. It’s the fact that members of the armed forces willingly risk their lives to protect our freedoms that makes a difference.
It is easy to sit at home and wave a flag on certain days. But some actually face the hell of battle, and some do not return. They are bound by honor, commitment, sacrifice and love of country. To them we owe more than our thanks, we owe our very lives.