So, on this Veterans Day 2017 I think it's appropriate to explain why veterans are indeed special. And, in doing so, I seek no special favors, for I was blessed to be one of the lucky ones and finish service unscathed by serious injury. But I do take pride in my service and know that all honorably discharged veterans, regardless of the circumstances of their service, did make sacrifices that likely created personal hardship and a major shock to their young lives. Yet, despite these factors, they served because they felt it was their duty.
Now some will say that those who were drafted did nothing special since they did what the law required of them. Yet, a significant number of Americans during Vietnam opted to leave the country and hide. And others had personal relationships with others who pulled strings to get them exempted. The overwhelming majority, however, did what they were called to do, served honorably, and either decided to make a career of service, served longer than their required commitment for whatever reason, or opted to come home when their requirement was met. So, it's only natural that a grateful nation would honor them and offer benefits such as the GI Bill or home loans in addition to assistance provided for those suffering from medical issues caused or aggravated by their service. They, like their full volunteer brothers and sisters, deserve it.
I'm not saying that others having issues for which they might need a variety of forms of help, but to try and lump those who sacrificed in service in the same category as those who made bad lifestyle choices is more than just a bad idea. It is a slap not only in the face of veterans but all Americans who love our military men and women and know that defense of our nation is a principal purpose of government.
Furthermore, commitments have been made to veterans which have never been lived up to. We are so often a shallow society, regardless of our political persuasion, when it comes to living up to our promises and it impacts our integrity and our honor as a nation. We can't expect young men and women to put themselves in a situation where there life could very well be on the line in loyal service to their country without paying the price for it. If that's what we expect, our finest and fittest will certainly look for other options than voluntary service. A draft will be restored and morale will plummet to the depths.
So, on this Veterans Day, honor those who have faithfully served in military uniform. And thank them for their service. Memorial Day is designated for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Veterans Day is for all veterans who served honorably. Never forget either of them.