delta air lines

Duty, Honor and Country

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Something to think about!
Received from a friend and I think very well done:
I remember the day I found out I got into West Point. My mom actually
showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me to get
out of class. She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she
had opened up my admission letter. She wasn’t crying because it had
been her dream for me to go there. She was crying because she knew
how hard I’d worked to get in, how much I wanted to attend, and how
much I wanted to be an infantry officer. I was going to get that
opportunity.

That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me
the following: Nick, you’re a smart guy. You don’t have to join the
military. You should go to college, instead.

I could easily write a tome defending West Point and the military as I
did that day, explaining that USMA is an elite institution, that
separate from that it is actually statistically much harder to enlist
in the military than it is to get admitted to college, that serving
the nation is a challenge that all able-bodied men should at least
consider for a host of reasons, but I won’t.

What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that
attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a
dangerous disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have
no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing.

In World War II, 11.2% of the nation served in four years.

In Vietnam, 4.3% served in 12 years.

Since 2001, less than 1/2 of 1 percent, 0.45%, of our population has served in the Global War on Terror.

These are unbelievable statistics.

Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the burden and it is only getting worse.

Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by a Congress consisting of 10%
veterans with only one … of those 435 … person having a child in the military.

Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not sold.
Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to
sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen
to out of the goodness of their hearts.

The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their
families. The volunteers. The people who swore an oath to defend
this nation.

You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You’ve
lost relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions,
years apart from kids you’ll never get back, and beaten your body in a
way that even professional athletes don’t understand.
Then you come home to a nation that doesn’t understand.

They don’t understand suffering.

They don’t understand sacrifice.

They don’t understand why we fight for them.

They don’t understand that bad people exist.

They look at you like you’re a machine – like something is wrong with
you. You are the misguided one – not them.

When you get out, you sit in the college classrooms with political
science teachers that discount your opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan
because YOU WERE THERE and can’t understand the macro issues they
gathered from books, because of your bias.

You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at
that . Your Congress is debating your benefits, your retirement, and
your pay, while they ask you to do 
more!

But the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know
your country will never pay back what you’ve given up.

You know that the populace at large will never truly understand or
appreciate what you have done for them.

You will be thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway. You do what the greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775 – YOU SERVED. Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.

“Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so
many to so few.” Winston Churchill

Thank you to the 0.45% who have and continue to serve our NATION.

 

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