Today we recognize those who have gone and are going to war for us. Today is unlike memorial day, in that we aren't so much focussing on those who have passed on...but those who are still alive. It is a day to walk up to a veteran and shake their hand, and thank them.
Today in Chapel they asked all the veterans to stand up, but I honestly couldn't bring myself to stand. The reason why, is depending on who you talk to, there are different definitions for a veteran. The U. S. Government, when it comes to giving out veterans benefits, defines a veteran as anyone who has served in the military, for any length of time, and in any branch. With that definition, I am a veteran. Some would say that anyone who serves in the military, whether removed from the actual fighting or actively in combat, during a time of war is a veteran. Again, using that definition, I am a veteran. But having served in the military, I find that service members define being a veteran differently.
We would consider it only the person who has been in active combat. The one who had heard the sound of misiles being launched...who's ducked for cover while being shot at...who's trudged through the deserts in scorching heat with packs on their backs...the men who know what it truly means to fear for your life, but to go on fighting anyways. They are the true veterans, the true heroes we recognize today.