As someone who works with veterans, I’ve heard time and time again, “I don’t deserve anything…I didn’t see any action.” I’ve seen veterans who were discharged from boot camp due to serious injury during training, or veterans who were not injured and felt their time didn’t count for anything because they didn’t come under fire. I sometimes want to shake them and say, “You were lucky, but you still served with honor!”
It doesn’t take injury or the horrors of being directly in the line of fire to make heroes. Boot camp is well known for toughening soldiers up; you didn’t get through it? Well, you still were brave enough to sign up not knowing what the future held. You still went through the mental anguish of knowing you might get sent overseas. You could have been called into action at any time. There is honor in stepping up and taking the risk of being sent into battle.
You were there if the call to action came. You trained and stood proud in defense of your country. That means you stood for each of us here at home. A hero isn’t necessarily someone who is maimed or killed in action; a hero is someone who steps forward fully knowing and appreciating what the possibilities are. You’re my heroes.