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Veterans Day By: Alicia McPhillips

It’s Monday night as I type this, and my husband is downstairs relaxing watching one of his favorite movies American Sniper. Listening to the trumpet play the most beautiful yet eerie song, it got me thinking how Veterans Day is sneaking up on us. Do people even remember Veterans Day anymore? Do people really remember the meaning?

“Veterans Day to me serves as a reminder of the men I stood beside overseas and the hardships we endured while we were over there. It means the sacrifices the men and women in all branches make everyday so I can sit here right now and type this out without the fear of our nations enemies knocking on our door.” This is the answer I got when I asked my husband what this day meant for him. My husband served in the Army for 3 years with one deployment to Afghanistan. He was there for 8 months and was able to make it home safely; others weren’t as lucky. These special individuals don’t do it for the free meal at Applebee’s. They don’t do it for a discount at Verizon, or for that free cup of coffee from Starbucks. They do it because they are meant to serve their country; they find what they are passionate about, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of their life.

Missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, births of children, funerals, and so much more are sacrificed when someone is serving their country. Most of the time when I hear veterans talking about their time in the military, I hear people comparing it to Call of Duty (or whatever war game is relevant at that moment); forgetting that there is no extra life to use when someone sneaks up on you-it’s game over. Something else that I hear more often on a spouse’s side is: “Oh so it’s like Dear John, that’s so cute!” No, there is nothing cute about waiting days, even weeks to hear if your loved one. There’s nothing romantic about relying on letters as your only form of communication.

Some people totally disregard how much people have truly sacrificed. It’s no surprise that this year’s election has been heated since the very beginning, and I’ve heard from so many people that they aren’t going to vote; I’ve also heard from many that they are. Regardless which way you go, let’s not forget who gave you the right to do that. We have the pleasure of living in the USA; a place of opportunities, a place where you can be anything you want. They call it the ‘American Dream’ for a reason.

So on Veterans Day, when you see that older gentleman in front of you at the grocery store wearing his WWII cap, tell him thank you; you can’t even begin to imagine everything he’s seen in his years. When you see the guy wearing an Iraq War Veteran cap at Buffalo Wild Wings, go up and say thank you. I guarantee that it means more to them then buying them a drink.

Special shout out to my husband, the rest of the Infantry unit and Predator Company that I got to know and have grown to call you family- thank YOU for everything. It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. I love you guys and wish you nothing but the best.

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