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Dakota Center for Independent Living

Veteran’s Day

November 11th, a day to honor the men and women who have served in our armed forces to keep our great nation safe and protect our freedoms we hold dear. During peacetime or if we are at war, our men and women are working hard every day to make sure we can have the right to free speech, to bear arms, our right to our religious beliefs and the list goes on. We wake up every day and do not even really stop to think about all the freedoms we have because of what our veterans have done for us. Some of us take those freedoms for granted and forget what it has cost some of those men and women.

Signing on that dotted line and saying you are willing to give your life for your country if needed is a scary and a proud moment, all at the same time, no matter what branch you serve in. Once you serve it is something you are proud of your entire life. Whether you serve for 4 years, 20 years, or have to be medically discharged the title of Veteran is something you are proud of.

When we see people burning the flag, or stomping on our flag, it really does hurt our hearts. We have lost people protecting that flag. We know you have that right but to a Veteran that is like a slap in the face.

I am a Veteran. I served in the Navy for just shy of 5 years and had to be medically discharged. I am proud that I served and would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. I learned so much from my time in the service. I met so many new people and saw a lot of the country I would never have seen otherwise. It also gave me a lot of new perspective on many things. I will admit that now I do tear up when the National Anthem plays because it means so much more to me now. I lost some great friends in the service and that was something I was not prepared for. I think being in the Navy was the easy part. Trying to fit into the outside world once I was discharged was the hard part. I felt like I belonged in the Navy, but in the real world I felt like I did not fit in and spent years trying to find where I belonged. I think a lot of Veterans feel that way. Some of that may have to do with my disability also. So many of us Veterans have disabilities. We just want to feel like we still belong somewhere and are needed.

So this Veteran’s Day, take a moment to thank a Veteran for their service because without them you would not have all the freedoms you have. They really do appreciate that you care.