This is a word that we use to describe people that have seen things, done things, and are experienced in certain fields.
A lot of times it's something we use to describe a charity or a man or woman with military experience behind him.
What people don't see when they say this word are the things that go on behind closed doors. They don't see the old man suffering from dementia, thinking he's still a flight nurse in Vietnam, and threatening to kill himself because he just doesn't want to see another body.
They don't see the young man who isn't even thirty yet, but has to wake his wife up every morning to tie his shoes because he was hit with an improvised explosive device while deployed.
They miss the ulcers, the stomach aches, and the sleepless nights due to medication and side affects, and they aren't around when a veteran is walking the streets at 3 a.m. looking for someplace warmer to sleep than the park bench he was chased off of.
We see young men returning from war, and we watch people picketing funerals and all the while we've got men fighting in other countries only to come home and face the same fate men generations before them have. They turn into government castoffs. The people who aren't needed anymore, because they're bodies quit working or they're mind took a left turn when it should have gone right.
You hear about the Veteran's Administration, and what a joke it is to get anything approved. But do you comprehend?
Do you know that in cities across the nation, our veterans sit in cold houses if they are lucky, having to decide between food, electricity, or medication?
And that's not just senior citizens. That's young men and women, families of veterans.
So the next time you see a veteran, young or old, thank them.
Just thank them.
Because that's probably all the thanks they will hear.
If you're in the Birmingham, Alabama area, and you know of a homeless veteran in need of assistance, or if you just want to help, please contact
They take monetary donations, as well as household items, and a lot of times, the household items are needed more.
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - George S. Patton