The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks Armistice Day for many and is celebrated in the United States as Veterans Day. For me, I celebrated Veterans Day like many of you, as a holiday from school or work. Later, I would celebrate Veterans Day as someone who had the honor of serving in the United States Marine Corps where honor, courage and commitment are the core values that we live by and form the bedrock of our character.
I see the Marine Corps as a form of knighthood where young men and women from all walks of life are physically and mentally tested. The opportunity to truly be a part of something bigger than oneself is like a scene from the Matrix:
You have to see it for yourself… This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
“The Few, The Proud, The Marines” became my story and in many ways is still my story today. I remember waking up in different countries with over seven currencies in my wallet as a reminder of my last port, my last home, and the adventures that still awaited me. It is said that, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” and so my story humbly begins as a small town boy from the South where my thick accent matched my riding boots, cowboy hats, and big belt buckles reminiscent of world wrestling federation title belts.
During my time in the Marine Corps, I have been tested by bad leadership where I learned what not to do, and I have had the privilege of being led and mentored by some of the best; a constant reminder of the burdens and responsibilities of leadership. This Veterans Day, a simple “thank you for your service” goes a long way in thanking the fine men and women of the uniformed armed services for their dedication and perseverance.
Veterans Day is a day of celebration, remembrance and a way to pay our respects to all who served in the United States Armed Forces. Originally, it was called Armistice Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday and a bank holiday, with many states choosing to include Veterans Day on their list of holidays.