Honor veterans by embracing spirit of service and commitment

Honor veterans by embracing spirit of service and commitment

They come from all corners of the United States and are of various ethnic groups, religions and political persuasions. They are our nation’s military veterans: heroes to many, remembered by most.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates there are 22 million military veterans living in the United States; some 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point. North Texas alone is home to more than 100,000 veterans from all conflicts.

Each year on Veteran’s Day, the country pauses to honor and remember those who have put service before self and put on the uniform. But honoring veterans need not be just a one day remembrance – the lessons learned from their duty and commitment can greatly serve our nation and the city of Dallas.

The term hero is often associated with our veterans, but heroic actions are often no more than serving something larger than oneself. Heroes are seemingly born out of the best and worst of humanity, strife, struggle and the inability to fail at serving those most in need. Heroes often run from publicity and seek to return to the normalcy of their daily lives as soon as they are no longer needed.

Most heroes will tell you they did what they did because it was their profession, nothing more, nothing less. Dallas law enforcement and first responders are heroic every day, but heroic acts don’t require uniforms or City involvement.

Standing up to domestic violence, helping the homeless, protecting children, fostering civil rights and battling injustice requires honor, integrity, service, sacrifice courage and heroic actions. Simply put, heroism is done for the person serving next to you, your neighbor, and your fellow human beings.

Many heroes and veterans shy away from being thanked for their service and commitment, as sincere and warranted as it may be. Praise is not a priority for most when the satisfaction of bettering a situation, a life, and providing hope are the end results. The best way to honor veterans today and every day is by adopting and embodying what they gave this nation: service and commitment to others.

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