Am I really a Veteran?

When we think of a veteran we normally think of the guy on the front lines...the guy who's on the front lines with guns blazing all around him...the guy who knows the pain of seeing many of his comrades die around him.  I cannot identify with these experiences...

The only guy we had die on our boat while I was on it was a guy who died by falling out of the window of an apartment complex (I don't think they ever found out why).  We did our patrols around the Pacific and stopped to do enjoy the sights and experiences of different ports.  The closest we ever came to danger while I was on board was when the earthquake/tsunami hit Japan, and when there were major tensions between us and Korea.

I got up for work on the boat, and did my job...which usually entailed doing maintenance on one piece of electrical equipment or another...

But, would the soldier not thank the ones who support him?  Would the Marine not thank the one who transported him into battle?  The one who cooks his food?

Do I feel like a veteran?  No...not at all...the greatest danger I faced each day was the danger of being electrocuted or burned by scalding water (while cleaning salinity cells).

However, if veteran is defined as anyone who served in the military during a time of war, than that is what I am...regardless of how unworthy I feel of receiving that title.

Thank you so much to all my military brothers who will serve, are serving, or have served!