As this years Veterans Day approaches or came and went, I had the blues again. We realize that there are many others in the same boat.
Lets start with a basic definition of Veterans Day.
According to the History Channel, Veterans Day is a U.S. legal holiday dedicated to (American) Veterans of all wars, and Veterans Day occurs every November 11th.
In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated in many countries as Armistice Day the following year, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.
Veterans Day from one Veterans perspective.
Veteran’s Day means freedom, sacrifice, and honor from those who served in the military. It also means to give thanks to people who served. Its a day when we should be kind and respectful to Veterans.
Its a day to honor our Heroes. To celebrate the brave men and women who have given so much to ensure our freedom and protect our way of life. Unlike Memorial Day, which was created to memorialize those who died in service, Veterans Day honors living Veterans, those who have served and those who continue to serve.
For a lot of us (Veterans), this day is a time of great sadness. While we’re supposed to be celebrating our victories and triumphs, some recognize the tragedy of war, loss, death and destruction. Its a day that we are reminded of the impact our time in service has had on our lives. It’s a day that we are reminded how this impact continues daily on our lives and the lives of our families.
Its also a reminder that without this day on the calendar, many Americans would simply forget us and the sacrifices we have made.
What do some of us think Veterans Day means for Civilians?
For most, its just another day for savings on electronics and other deals at the local stores.
Its a day when actual Veterans get cut off on the roads, get flipped off, have to witness healthy people park in handicap parking spots and more. All of this is caused by civilians in a rush to make sure they don’t miss out on their share of bargains and cash in on anticipated savings from the many sales on their shopping list.
Its a day when actual Veterans simply and reluctantly stay home to avoid being subjected to the madness, and to try and responsibly keep ourselves in check, merely to keep a measure of sanity. For most, we are more easily triggered on this day.
Its a day that is full of frustration caused by people all over the country who view this day as anything but a day to remember our Veterans.
It’s been a long journey, but this year, to my amazement, I learned something different.
Its a day to reflect on what we as Veterans have accomplished, personally.
Make this day an opportunity to reconsider major life events, deep thoughts, emotions, love, loss and feelings from a fresh perspective. Try to achieve mental and emotional clarity and gain a better understanding for what you do have rather than what you do not. Explore your personal experiences, feelings and events. Get reacquainted with yourself, find a piece of yourself again.
Think of things from a larger perspective and understand that change is growth. No, you are not crazy, you are now just a bit different, but you can get back to yourself. Just like water, waves in the ocean are caused by some type of disruption, but ultimately the water returns to it’s natural state, and the good news is so can you.
A few ideas to help get your personal reflection project started.
- What motivated you to join the military?
- What was (is) your primary job after training (MOS)?
- Where did you serve the majority of time in service?
- What rank are you most proud to have earned, and why?
- Which medals or citations are you most honored to have, and why?
- Think about some of the special people you met.
- How did (does) your military experience affect your life today?
Use the past 11 months as a point of departure, sort of like a springboard.
As a bonus, New Years eve is right around the corner so you may discover some new resolutions. And guess what? Veterans Day will come every year like clock work. Next year, you will simply be better prepared.
- What was my best moment this year and how can I have more moments like it?
- What was my most challenging moment and why? How will I respond next time?
- Were my friends and family excited to hear from me? If not, what can I do to change this?
- How was my mood with others and how can I improve it?
- How well did I communicate with others and how can I do this better?
- In what ways did my friends and family surprise me most?
- How did I support my friends and family and how will I continue to do so?
- What are the biggest obstacles to improving myself and how will I overcome them?
- What steps did I take for myself and why is it important to do things for myself?
- How am I in charge of my “tomorrow”? Taking it one day at a time, what do I want everyone to be able to say about me at the end of the day tomorrow?