General Norman Schwarzkopf famously said, “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” Today, Veterans Day, we honor the brave men and women who wrote that blank check to Uncle Sam, payable with their own blood.
From the birth of our nation to a devastating war that would pit brother against brother and threaten to tear the country apart, veterans have served.
From a time when a cowardly attack at Pearl Harbor woke a sleeping giant, to another, similarly devastating event 60 years later on our shores in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, veterans have answered the call.
Not all have served in combat but they have served with distinction and honor. These men and women are the real “1%” – the ones who have stood up for something greater than themselves.
They chose not to whine or cry about the hand life dealt them nor did they sit idly by and blame their failures and inability on others. Instead they saw an opportunity to serve the greater good. They donned the nation’s uniforms proudly and bettered themselves, served their fellow man and defended freedom across the globe.
The legacy of these men and women is seen not only in the peoples they liberated and protected but also close to home.
I am honored to have served this nation and, more so, am humbled at the deeds of those who came before me, those I served with, and those who continue to serve today. They are my brothers and sisters in arms – my shipmates – and I thank them all for their service and sacrifice.
Happy Veterans Day!