What a veteran means to me:

A few of the adjectives that stick out to me when I think about a veteran are:

  • Unique
  • Dependable
  • Innovative
  • Loyal

And the more I think about what a veteran is the more apparent it is that all veterans are cut from the same cloth.  What defines a veteran starts at a young age, way before they join the military.  A veteran is born with the desire to be the best they can be at anything they do. When I was young playing in BB gun wars against neighborhood friends, I was a veteran.  I didn’t know it yet, but when I was captain of my high school football team in the Georgia state playoffs, I was a veteran.  When I was in college and decided to join the military despite my friends and family telling me not to join the military, because it was dangerous and scary, I joined anyways. I didn’t know it yet, but I was a veteran.

The uncertainty of what might happen to a soldier, sailor, airmen, marine or coast guardian is definitely scary but a veteran does it anyways, and that is what is so unique about a veteran.  The veteran understands the true meaning of service and sacrifice.  When an American veteran raises their hand to defend this country they unknowingly forfeit a life of freedom.

Even when the veteran is no longer in uniform he or she is dependable.  Veterans will always stand on the wall to make sure our great nation has the ability to sustain a prosperous future for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.  Veterans not only defend but they innovate businesses and technologies for the advancement of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The veteran will always be loyal and they will innovate new ways to serve their community because it is a part of their DNA.
The heroism that has been demonstrated by veterans from the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism is sometimes unnoticed by those of us who enjoy the security that their sacrifice has provided. This is not necessarily a bad thing. To me this could be a result of accomplishing the mission but what is even more interesting is this does not upset the veteran. The veteran understands that they were a part of a greater cause, to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. Veterans do not like handouts. They have earned the right to be called a veteran.  The most unique characteristic about a veteran is their commitment to loyalty, patriotism, and honor for their country. Veterans are unique people that walk with a sense of pride but like everyone else they just want to have an opportunity to live the American dream that they fought so hard to defend.

Veterans have defended our country in peacetimes and war times and provided us freedom through hard work.  Which is why America is the greatest nation on earth. We must remember them. We must appreciate them.  God bless our veterans and God bless America.


Grant McGarry