COMMENTARY: Grateful veteran encourages gratitude

By Capt. Chinyere Asoh, HRCNovember 9, 2017

Veterans Day is a special federal holiday that some people use to enjoy getting the day off. It is also a celebratory time when Americans thank military members for their service with the use of kind words, free meals at restaurants, and even sales events.

As a military member, I am thankful for all the appreciation shown to me by so many. The entire ordeal is overwhelming to me and I thank the American people.

But why should this day matter so much?

Veterans Day matters because it honors those Americans who have sacrificed so much for the good of our great nation.

Think about a billionaire walking up to you and handing you a blank check. This billionaire then says, "You can write in whatever amount you want because I will take care of it." You may have guessed it already -- the billionaire is a member of the military. Every military member who ever served has written a check without limits to the American people. Every American can cash that check in and the amount will be paid in full, and in some instances for a lifetime with the life of a service member.

This is why we thank our veterans.

Freedom is an ideal that Americans enjoy, but no one really gives it any thought until it is threatened. Our military members serve inside and outside of the United States to ensure that our freedoms remain unthreatened.

Veterans Day helps us recognize these heroes.

Military members spend time away from home so we can sleep safely in our beds at night. Military members miss the births of their children so they can keep the enemy at bay while we safely birth our children. Military members miss important moments in their lives, and in the lives of their Families, so we can safely enjoy and celebrate those special moments in our lives. This is why we thank ourveterans.

If this was not a holiday, if it was not celebrated, how many would remember?

As I reflect on my service and the remarkable relationships it has afforded me, I remain humbled. I know I do not speak for every military member, nor for every veteran, but I believe my service leads me to be grateful and always keep things in perspective. And I am. I am grateful for my life, my Family, my friends, my co-workers, my job and the lives that have touched mine, but more importantly, I am grateful for my fallen comrades.

Freedom truly is not free. All veterans have sacrificed for our freedoms; some have made the ultimate sacrifice. When you put your hands in your pockets and reach for that blank check which is already paid in full, please pause for a second and thank a veteran.