Updated: Aug 30, 2019
As a young man, I started my military career in the U.S. Army’s 1/509th Parachute Infantry Regiment as a platoon leader. Having gone through Ranger School, Special Forces training and serving in Iraq I have a treasure trove of memories. Some of the memories are fond and some of them are not so fond.
I have to say that I was given a lot of cool toys to play with and have done a lot of neat things, but none of those cool toys or events comes close to the bonds and friendships I developed through the years. For me, it is not about the tanks, warships, and rifles, it is about the soldiers I met. I had the honor of standing side by side with some of the best Americans this country has produced. Their sense of patriotism and loyalty to this great country was a breath of fresh air.
These bonds with my fellow soldiers and the experiences I have had, has made me a better man. I understand what true patriotism is and how very thankful I am to be an American. I feel that I have a closer bond with the founders of this nation and what they fought for. There are some that take this country for granted and miss the mark on what service and patriotism is.
My dad, son and other young men in our family have or are currently serving. I pray that the younger ones will not have to see the eyes of combat but I know that they are going to be better young men because of what they are doing or have done.
The next time you see a veteran, who’s body may seem a little battered, just say thank you and know that he has given his all for your freedom.