A band of brothers and sisters? Most definitely! Lifetime memories and stories of places visited...many of which were not of our choosing? Again, most definitely. An honor that we all chose and would do again in a heartbeat? Absolutely!
1995 - 2011 were years of my life where I gave freely, but gained so much more in return. As I go through my daily life, service to our country is a linkage to many of the most honorable of my friends and family. The uniform of a military service member, the scrubs of a hospital employee, the dedication of EMT's, firefighters, and police offiers are all signs of what is right in our country today.
As I still struggle with what being a veteran means two years later, I am so proud and humbled to have served with some of America's finest sons and daughters. I've raised drinks with perfect strangers all because of this bond. I've given business to small companies simply because of this bond. I've come to understand that we are a breed that is sought after and desired. We are trustworthy, we are honorable, we are veterans.
Thank you so much for all those over the years whom had my six, and my friends and family of veterans whom still do. I will always be here to do the same. In a day set aside to remember us and what we've done...I come with a challenge. Pay it forward...honor those whom served, yes...but also find someone about to join and ensure he or she understands the signficance of this day for them as well. They will be the future, and the future looks good on them.
I would list out some of those most special to me, but I would most definitely forget someone along the way and that is a risk I will not take. Thank you to all whom served before me and paved the way with your sacrifices, thank you to all whom served with me over the years and helped mold me into whom I am today, and thank you to all those whom choose to served after me, for it is you whom we shall look up to in the years to come and will support you as we've been supported. We've got your Six!