What does it really mean to honor or celebrate a Veteran?
Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans
who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. There are those
who have paid the ultimate price of giving their life—and those who spent part
or some of their lives in service. There are spouses, children and other family
members who have sacrificed, as well, by being family to a military member.
If you’ve never been in—or around the military—you may not realize
the differences of a military way of life. The service member may be gone
for months at a time, a year or eighteen months. You may take it for granted
that you are able to get up and go to the bathroom in your own house—
while a service member deployed to a tent city has to walk a long distance
from their tent to a makeshift porta-pottie with no privacy.
We don’t realize the sacrifices we make. We don’t realize that our way of
life is totally different from the mainstream world. We simply chose this life
because we wanted to do something for our country. It became a way of life
for many of us and a way to get started for others.
As I was writing this article, I looked up in the sky and saw a flock of
geese flying overhead. The leader was “calling commands” to the others,
and they all flew in tight formation. We are taught to trust our leaders and
execute the orders given to us. We fall into formation and become one for
the greater good. It’s a life of discipline, integrity and total commitment.
No matter what you think about the war, thank the warrior for serving.
We may not know what to say back as we rarely hear, “Thank you for your
service,” but it will touch our hearts.
(C) 2009 Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Deployed to the Middle East after 9/11 and retired from active duty as a contract negotiator in the Air Force in 2003 after 23 years of honorable service, retired Master Sergeant Eldonna Lewis Fernandez is a force to be reckoned with. Blog, Speaking Engagements, Adventures and more at https://eldonnalewisfernandez.com
Published in Heart of a Military Woman:
Stories and Tributes to Those Who Serve Our Country,
by Sheryl Roush and Eldonna Lewis Fernandez.
All original and true short stories, poems, and tributes from military personnel, their families and loved ones.