With the recent passing of Memorial Day and the thoughts shared across the breadth of veterans that we know, we've done some thinking. We've come to a conclusion that may be a difficult pill to swallow at first, but when we get right down to it, it makes plenty of sense and it's only reasonable that eventually, we come to this place.Veterans are the one with a debt to pay. We are not owed anything, rather we owe everyone. We'll take a minute to let the collective rage...Now that you're done being upset. Think about this.We owe it to the citizens of this nation to come back from our time in service and do more. Life doesn't stop just because we served two, four, or twenty plus years fighting in a war. Yes, war is scary and a horrible thing and we shouldn't be assholes when people thank us for our service. When we're done with the war though, we owe it to this nation, to reintegrate and be productive members of society. Resting on laurels is for the lazy and weak. Veterans are neither of those things.We owe it to the men and women that fell to be happy and live our lives to the fullest of our potential. We'll always remember them, but as General Patton famously stated "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." Never forgetting is one thing, being a "stereotypical veteran sad sack" is entirely different and we owe it to them that fell to not be the later.
Veterans owe it to themselves to be better today than they were yesterday. Sure doesn't make a lot of sense to walk around with the swagger and confidence we have after surviving war and the hell many of us endured, only to have it go to waste not bettering ourselves. We've seen 18 and 19-year-olds act with extreme selflessness, bravery, and valor. Why should they not be successful when they leave the service?We owe it to each other, as headlines and studies continue to paint us in a negative light, we owe it to each other to ensure that all of us are seen in a positive light. We are our brother's keeper.We owe everyone. Why? Because if we truly are all that we say and think we are, with all the bravado and confidence, then we damn sure owe it to our nation to be the shining example of how to live and act post service.Having served your country is not a bad thing to be remembered for, but we're capable of more. If you're a veteran, you owe a lot more than you think.