What Does it Mean to be a U.S. Military Veteran?
by Sgt. Scott Peters
U.S. Army Institute of Infectious Diseases
U.S. military veterans are a diverse group, representing their varied cultures, at the same time being proud Americans, fighting for our way of life.
Whether man or woman, young or old, veterans have helped to make our country strong and keep Americans free throughout our history.
In both peacetime and wartime, at home and abroad, our veterans have made outstanding contributions which have made an impact on the lives of countless Americans and people from around the world.
U.S. military veterans have earned the respect of people all over the world. When a veteran walks through an airport in our country, strangers will come and thank them for their service.
This is a testament to the appreciation that they deserve from the people they serve.
During and after the Vietnam War, many people blamed the veterans themselves for politics and showed them great disrespect.
In any society there will be individuals who blame the wrong group of people for things they don't like.
The veterans stayed strong though, not wavering and keeping their heads held high because they knew they were doing their duty.
In modern times, veterans have strived for and gained the respect of our nation.
To be a U.S. military veteran means that a person has given themselves to a greater cause, and lived by a higher standard and set of values than the general public.
Veterans are an elite group, but at the same time they are like everybody else.
To be a veteran is to be a proud American who has given what only a small percentage of people are willing to give.
To be called a veteran is truly an honor and a privilege.To be a U.S. Military Veteran is to be among a special group of people. Veterans come from all walks of life and have many different stories to tell about their experiences serving our country.
(Editor's note: Peters was a runner-up for the Fort Detrick NCO of the Year. He wrote this essay as part of the competition.)
Posted by PAO