What is a Veteran?
Updated: Sep 4, 2018
Webster's Dictionary defines a veteran as:
1 a : a former member of the armed forces. b : an old soldier of long service. 2 : a person of long experience usually in some occupation or skill (such as politics or the arts)
Society, history, politics, and our own government will perceive a veteran as something a little more in depth--good and bad. However, no one but a veteran can truly know its depths since every individual faces different challenges compared to his or her own battle buddies.
Some veterans never see combat--a blessing, right? Well, to some fellow comrades, that is unfortunately not the case. From all branches comes stereotypes of who is a "badass", who "had it good", and who had to endure the craziest things while in service. It's typically all fun and games until you come upon those who believe only those who have killed and/or deployed are the "real" soldiers.
The absurdity of this idea is understandable if one limits to only seeing Marcus Luttrell taking on the world with his book, which became a painful and realistic movie of what he lived and survived while deployed. The death of Chris Kyle, again, brought more talk of what a soldier could be and what his service entailed, along with "American Sniper". There is absolutely NOTHING against what they stood for, but to an observer, they are the idolized figures of what a "badass" is.
And they are.
But what about those who didn't live what they lived? Do they matter?
What about those who got a taste of the realities of war but now live among the many homeless individuals who roam our streets every day? Don't they matter?
What about those who handle the ammo, food, water, and vehicles for our military?
The value of a soldier does not decrease because of their MOS.
Veterans are the men and women who put on the uniform for their own reasons but remained ready to answer the call of duty.