Do All Veterans Matter?

Someone told a veteran that their service in the military didn’t count, because that veteran wasn’t in a war. Ok. Let me explain something to all who do not understand what it means to put your name on the dotted line, raise your hand to take that oath, then put on that uniform.
It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, war or peace, when an individual joins the military, because everything can change in an instant. By putting on that uniform, you say “Whatever happens, I’m here to defend life, liberty and our Constitution. I’m willing to change my life in a way that few ever do. I’m prepared to be away from my home and family; to live in terrible conditions; to be hot, cold, hungry, hurting, miserable beyond what many ever experience; to be bored out of my mind with tedious, mundane work. I’m willing to be called away from my home at a moments notice, having no idea when I may return. I’m willing to stand guard while others sleep, to kill enemies that would harm us and to witness horror, so that the majority won’t have to do it. I’m prepared to die to preserve our way of life.”
A man joins the military in 1941. He is sent to Hawaii on December 1st. Do you really think he thought he might die six days later? Or that he would watch his friends die? Or that he would be pulling burned, mangled bodies out of wreckage? No. But, he was there.
The man who joined in January, 1945, was never deployed to a foreign country. His entire 20 year service was in relative peace time, most of it at Ft. Leavenworth in the kitchen. He was there.
The man who joined in 1989 with a great assignment on Azores, ended up deployed in Desert Storm. He wasn’t infantry. He was in supply. He was there.
The woman who had served 18 years, working as a secretary on bases around the world, was looking forward to her last assignment at the Pentagon. She never killed anyone, never fired a shot at an enemy and her worst injury was a papercut…until September 11, 2001. She was there.
When we join, we have no idea what will happen. When we join the military, we pray there will be no war, only peace. But, if that doesn’t happen…We Are There.