I was at the tail end of Americans who were required to register for the draft. I went ahead and signed up, hoping that there would not be a need. I would have served if called and resolutely put myself in harm’s way as the situation required. I would not have volunteered for military service at that time, because it’s not my skill set. After 9/11, had I been young enough, I probably would have volunteered in the heat of the moment.
A few years after I registered, the government decided that a volunteer force was a better way to go. So, all the people who are serving in the United States Military currently are there by choice. They’re all volunteers.
I suppose the people who volunteer have different reasons for doing so. The one thing they all have in common is the likelihood that they may be seriously injured or killed in combat (or in training), especially given our contemporary commitments in a variety of places around the globe.
I’m inadequate to the task of conveying my appreciation for these fellow citizens, who put their lives at risk every day to provide an umbrella of security, not just for Americans, but for billions of people all around the world. In my opinion, they are guardians of the modern, civilized world.
On this Veterans Day I thank all those in our military for their commitment and sacrifice. The fact that you all volunteered reinforces the finest aspects of the American experience. You make me proud to live in this country.