According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a veteran is anyone who is "a former member of the Armed Forces" -- a veteran is merely someone who served in the military.
To me, though, a veteran is infinitely more than that. When they served, they gave. Those people gave a part of themselves to this country. The soldiers of America didn’t just show up at work, they committed -- at the very least -- their time and effort to the military. They gave precious time out of their day to protect this nation.
I know of very few jobs where the employees, so to speak, get shipped overseas to help fight a battle for nine to fifteen months, the military is unique like that. And that is just for the veterans who were in the military after 9/11. Before that there weren’t deployments like now, but there were other wars and conflicts. World War II. The Korean War. The Vietnam War. Desert Storm. Veterans from those wars are still alive, they still deserve to be recognized for their great sacrifice.
It wasn’t like being a soldier was a piece of cake, being a soldier took a toll. How many of you have had a loved one come home frustrated? Then, they just get up at the crack of crazy the next morning to do everything all over again! It was hard to be a soldier, but they still were -- they had to earn the title of ‘veteran’ somehow. They didn’t give up.
Veterans are anyone who gave a bit of themselves to the military. The soldiers don’t need to have lost a limb or fought in a war, they just need to have been there. Any person who honorably served in the military, no matter their contribution, should be respected.
My mom is a veteran with five and half years of active duty Army service and one combat tour. On November 11th, I will honor her and anyone else who gave just a little bit of themselves, no matter how big or small, to the military; because, in the end, they brought our nation to where it is now.