Friday, November 15, 2019

Insight: Honoring veterans all year long

By Lorraine Glowczak

This past Monday, November 11th, was the day we celebrated and took time to publicly honor and thank all veterans for time served in the military. Without their bravery, our lives might be different today. Although most of us prefer peace over conflict, we take into account the popular 1960s song that states: “To everything (turn, turn, turn). There is a season (turn, turn, turn). And a time to every purpose, under heaven. A time of love, a time of hate. A time of war, a time of peace…..”

It is during the season of war that men and women follow their calling and leave their families to
protect us in times of conflict so we can lead the life we love and dream. I know life is not perfect, but as Americans, we are afforded many freedoms that most countries do not have.

If we take time to think about our lives, even in the most disparaging and challenging of times, we have, in comparison with other countries, a pretty good life. We have access to running water, can speak openly about subject matters that are important to us, we can go to the library and check out our favorite books without any costs, see shooting stars on a clear night sky without the fear of bombs exploding in our midst - and the list can go on and on.

Often, during our daily lives when the struggle feels intense, we forget these simple pleasures and let stress consume us. Although stress is a natural reaction in times of challenge, we might respect those who have served best if we pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and move forward the best we can. In fact, it’s possible that remembering to do this when we feel like throwing in the towel, might be one of the greatest ways to honor veterans.

Author, Cristina Oliveras eloquently reminds us about our everyday stresses in comparison to those who served in the military in an article entitled, “Six Lessons Everyone Can Learn From Soldiers On Veterans Day”. She stated:

“A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for an amount up to and including his or her life. Imagine the stresses of a battlefield and making quick decisions with incomplete information with enemies at every corner hunting for a quick victory. There is no time to stress over these life or death situations. Soldiers learn to analyze, plan for the best result and execute it. Take this lesson into your daily life when you are up to your ears in debt, or when you feel there's not enough time in the day to finish your work. It could be worse….”

Technically, Veterans Day is now behind us but that doesn’t mean we have to stop saying - and showing our thanks. And one way to honor a veteran all year long is to remember, even on our most stressful and challenging days, just how lucky we are to be alive. When we forget that, then we forget those who risked it all. Let’s make a pack to not forget and honor our veterans all year long.  

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