An important thing to remember about Veterans Day is that it is a celebration in honor of <em>all</em> veterans – from those who have passed before us to the heroes that stand among us today.
And, heroes they are, in more ways than one.
It’s too often the case that our nation’s military is viewed in the same light as those who would manage it – a misguided association, at best. It is a fact that, in this day and age, those who forge military policy very often have no firsthand experience with what it means to abide by and enforce that policy as a part of everyday life.
Veterans past and present are acutely aware of this disparity, but steadfastly and honorably keep their counsel out of respect for the chain of command and their duty to the citizenry.
This underscores the myriad types of sacrifices not often discussed or considered when we acknowledge our veterans’ service. To many, “service” amounts to those actions committed in harm’s way to vouchsafe the security of the nation. Deployments to hostile lands and responding to the nation’s disasters could be defined as the highest forms of service, but they are far from the <em>only</em> forms of service.
Our service members’ commitment to the country never ends – not when they take off the uniform at the end of a shift, or when they take it off at the end of a career. The oath of enlistment doesn’t include an expiration date and the notion that "freedom is never free" is a palpable fact of life for every veteran.
Military service is an honor and a privilege, but it often comes at an extraordinary price that pales only in comparison to the ultimate sacrifice. A veteran faces the unknown with courage every day, whether she is prepping for the battlefield or buttering her child’s toast in the morning. For this and so much more, she deserves our respect and gratitude.
All of us at <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for everything you do here at home, and wherever your service may take you.