Veterans embody the very idea of service and sacrifice

Sophomore Nathanial Swindle places second in VFW writing contest


Nathanial Swindle

From left to right; VFW members Kevin Jared, Mel Carr, Dick Reedy and Charlie Baker hand out “Buddy Poppies” in celebration of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2022

When the word ‘veteran’ is mentioned, a person may simply define it as someone who served their country, but veterans are so much more than that. A veteran embodies the very idea of service and self-sacrifice. A veteran willingly swears an oath to protect their county from all enemies, no matter who they are, and a veteran does this without reservation. 

Veterans have not only sworn to uphold our Constitution, but they have also often fought for it as well.

Whether standing watch at their post or spending months away from home on deployment, the men and women that serve our country have spent countless nights not only protecting us but our future generations as well. Learning from their service and sacrifice is the knowledge that should be cherished and protected. Showing respect to those who have given themselves to their country and the knowledge that they can share, is of utmost importance. 

Veterans embody our nation’s best values.

Not only have they sworn to protect our county, our Constitution, or fought for us, but they carry with them the knowledge and the wisdom gained by proudly performing their duties and obligations while in the military, which will often be foreign to most citizens; however, they also exemplify it.

They live to share the knowledge they gained throughout their time serving their country. Their experiences during their service leave permanent impressions that provide an example to younger generations. 

Veterans have lived and suffered through conflicts that should never be repeated, but instead, taught.

Our lives and the lives of our future generations have been spared because of the sacrifices they have made. Together, they foster a community amongst themselves, made up of people from different backgrounds and cultures. A veteran can be anyone, any race or any religion, and come from any and every background possible. The relationships that veterans have gained, whether it be with someone they served with or someone with similar experiences, are something very important. Through that shared knowledge, organizations can be formed that advocate to prevent future conflicts and spare the lives of our future people.

They revive history that shouldn’t be forgotten and share times that always seem to hold a lesson better learned than experienced.

Veterans have given and sacrificed so much, and because of that, they have so much to teach us. No matter the situation, there are very few people who are more experienced than seasoned veterans. Who better to give advice on gaining discipline or who better to ask than a veteran about effective leadership?

We must all remember what being a veteran really means, and we must all remember to respect the ones who have sworn to protect us, our country and our Constitution.

Sophomore Nathanial Swindle wrote this essay that awarded him second place in combined VFW posts 392 and 1211. Every year, Veterans of Foreign Wars, a non-profit organization, more commonly known as VFW, holds a writing contest for all high schoolers called the “Voice Of Democracy,” which is a scholarship program that gives students the opportunity to create an essay for a given prompt. This year, the essay prompt was “Why Is The Veteran Important.”