My uncle was a veteran of the U.S Army. He was a father, a husband, a brother. He was so many things to so many people. He was loving, hilarious, and made the absolute best bread in the world. He was a family man and would do anything for anyone.
A lot of military members have that in common: they are willing to risk everything for the ones they love and even total strangers. They want to make the world better for their families and for everyone else’s family. When they finally take the uniform off, they often don’t stop helping others.
My uncle didn’t. He entered the Army during the Vietnam War. He never entered combat; instead, he was stationed in Colorado for the majority of his service. He was only 19 years old. When his service ended, he came home and met the love of his life. They had two sons and he was one of the most amazing fathers I’ve ever seen.
He never stopped giving. He joined the American Legion to help his fellow veterans and did so much work with them. It was his passion. We often speak of military members being a family. Veterans are no different. They still have that drive to help their brothers and sisters who once wore the uniform alongside them.
We lost him a few years ago to cancer. My husband and I had just started dating. I never really gave much thought to military members or veterans. I had just entered a relationship with someone who had just signed up. Military life wasn’t a real thing to me yet…until my uncleâ€™s ceremony.
It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. From the men in uniform, to hearings taps to watching the flag being folded perfectly. And even if it was just for a moment, the sadness lifted and the only feeling left was pride. I was proud of my uncle. I was proud of everything he had done while he was serving and everything he did afterwards. I was proud to have been a part of his life. I was proud that he was, and still is, my family.
I never got to thank my uncle for his service, I was young and didn’t understand. Now that he is gone, I won’t get that chance. I urge you to tell your service member how proud you are of them. Thank them whenever you can. Thank the veterans in your life for everything they have sacrificed and all the work they have done. Tell them what they mean to you.
Veterans often aren’t shown the same respect that they once received. Their service is often forgotten and they are just seen as whatever they are in the present day.
Please take a moment to visit the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) page to create a short but meaningful video to thank a veteran. Simple actions are often the ones most cherished, so don’t miss this opportunity to make the day of someone you love and to tell them how much they mean to you.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Â The opinions and text are all mine.