But, regardless of differences and make-up and experience, all veterans share a common bond — a brotherhood of memories of a hard-won wisdom that helped define their character.
A veteran is the first to rise and last to sit when the flags go by in the parades, for he has been a witness to the blood and tears shed for our flag and country.
A veteran is a man of peace, soft-spoken, slow to anger, quick to realize that those who talk most about the glory of war are those who know the least about its horror. He never jokes about war; he’s been there, and can still see the memories of the wounded, the dying, and the widows and orphans; he knows that no war is good and the only thing worse than war is losing our freedom.
He is a friend to all races of man, begrudging none; he carries with him the knowledge that is not the man who is the enemy but enslavement and false ideologies. Some whom he faced across hostile battle lines, he esteems as his brothers.
A veteran is at once proud and humble, proud of the fact that no foreign enemy has set foot on American soil for nearly 200 years; and humble in the realization that many of his comrades who helped make this a reality never returned.
More than anything else a veteran loves his freedom. A veteran is a man or woman grown a little taller — a person who understands the awesome price of life’s intangibles of freedom, justice and democracy. If called on and again had to choose between servitude and conflict, the veteran would once again answer the call to duty.
Because above all else — a veteran is an American.