We can thank the revolutionary statesmen who drafted our constitution for making our unprecedented way of life a possibility. We can thank all who have sacrificed themselves in military service for making it, and keeping it, a reality.
But with this in mind, we should never, ever allow pragmatic concerns to affect our appreciation for U.S. veterans. We should all be sobered by the fact that without the sacrifice of thousands of American military personnel during World War II, it is almost certain that most of the world would have been (and likely still would be) ruled by one of the most evil regimes that has ever existed. But when many people consider other conflicts where the outcome has not been so positive, like Vietnam and Iraq, there is a tendency to think that somehow those veterans did less. This is not true.
I have long been proud of the fact that my father served in Vietnam, and the fact that ill-motivated politicians prevented the desired outcome of that war in no way makes my pride in his service any less. If valor and virtue have any meaning, their meaning is rooted in something far more important and far more lasting that the geo-political results of a war. Courage and sacrifice are valuable in and of themselves. In the grand scheme of things, one soldier’s act of bravery is infinitely more meaningful than any demarcation line or embargo.
To all those who have served and are serving, Thank You!