To understand a U.S. Military Veteran you must know:
* We left home as teenagers or in our early twenties for an unknown adventure.
* We loved our country enough to defend it and protect it with our own lives.
* We said goodbye to friends and family and everything we knew.
* We learned the basics and then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the earth.
* We found new friends and new family.
* We became brothers and sisters regardless of color, race or creed.
* We had plenty of good times, and plenty of bad times.
* We didn’t get enough sleep.
* We smoked and drank too much.
* We picked up both good and bad habits.
* We worked hard and played harder.
* We didn’t earn a great wage.
* We experienced the happiness of Mailcall and the sadness of missing important events.
* We didn’t know when, or even if, we were ever going to see home again.
* We grew up fast, and yet somehow, we never grew up at all.
* We fought for our freedom, as well as the freedom of others.
* Some of us saw actual combat, and some of us didn’t.
* Some of us saw the world, and some of us didn’t.
* Some of us dealt with physical warfare, most of us dealt with psychological warfare.
* We have seen and experienced and dealt with things that we can’t fully describe or explain, as not all of our sacrifices were physical.
* We participated in time honored ceremonies and rituals with each other, strengthening our bonds and camaraderie.* We counted on each other to get our job done and sometimes to survive it at all.
* We have dealt with victory and tragedy.
* We have celebrated and mourned.
* We lost a few along the way.
* When our adventure was over, some of us went back home, some of us started somewhere new and some of us never came home at all.
* We have told amazing and hilarious stories of our exploits and adventures.
* We share an unspoken bond with each other that most people don’t experience, and few will understand.
* We speak highly of our own branch of service, and poke fun at the other branches.
* We know however, that, if needed, we will be there for our brothers and sisters and stand together as one, in a heartbeat.
* Being a Veteran is something that has to be earned and it can never be taken away.
* It has no monetary value, but at the same time it is a PRICELESS gift !