Veterans Day is a very hard day for me, as is Memorial Day, or any day when I’m reflecting on service with sacrifice. I’m not thinking about myself but I am thinking about my men and I’m thinking about some of the men who are not with us anymore. That’s always very hard for me, and very somber.
Marine Lieutenant Ilario Pantano with Staff Sergeant Jason Glew, his senior
NCO in Al Anbar
I feel that increasingly we have moved away from a society that understands and fully shares the sacrifice. We are quick to give a lot of lip service to the guys and gals in uniform, buy them a free lunch and all of these things. But the bad news is that we are a little bit disconnected from the real cost and the real sacrifices. That’s going to have consequences for us during the next ten, twenty or thirty years.
As citizens and taxpayers, we have some measure of obligation to try and help and assist when they need it and provide care when they’re down. But a veteran makes a promise to you and me and all Americans, and what that veteran says is he is willing to serve even to the extent of sacrifice of his life and these are the conditions under which he agrees to make the trade.