Every year on Nov. 11, Americans gather at Veterans Day observations to honor and thank America’s veterans for their service to the country. It is certainly right and proper that they do so, but is that the extent of what our countrymen must do to show appreciation for those who put their lives at risk to serve the nation? As one of those veterans, I submit it is the very least of what they are obliged to do.
Men and women who serve in the U.S. military forces are required to carry out their orders to the best of their ability. That is their role in this remarkable democracy and they have performed it well over the long haul, even when the going was dire and deadly. As a teenager in the mid-50s, I remember my heart swelling with pride when I read about our troops assaulting Omaha Beach at Normandy and engaging in bitter combat in the Pacific islands. It was heart-stopping to read about Americans facing human wave assaults in the bitter cold of the forgotten war in Korea.