Do you ever don a jersey for your favorite major league sports team or maybe for your college alma mater? Now what about wearing red on Fridays (Remembering Everyone Deployed)? Or a shirt with a yellow ribbon on it in support of our troops? Is it odd that as a nation we don’t hesitate to wear clothing in adoration of sports teams, but the majority of us do not do so in acknowledgement and reverence to the men and women who serve our country? I certainly think so. Here is why I care and here is why you should care, too:

When I was a child I loved walking all over the Air Force Bases on which I grew up while watching the Airmen march in unison. My father started his career as Pararescue and served three tours in Vietnam. Jumping out of helicopters, he rescued his brothers of all branches. As his 28.5 year career progressed he was gone a lot. That was life.

Before I met my husband in addition to lengthy amounts of time away in other states to attend mandatory trainings, he spent eight months on deployment away from his daughters living on a Destroyer. Months or years away from family and loved ones are often the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make to serve our country. Through the pain of being away, through the risk of life and limb it is their job; their duty. It is not always easy, but it is the role of a member of the military.

Today is Veteran’s Day. It is the one day we honor all men and women who have put on the uniform and dedicated any amount of time to the United States Armed Forces; any person who has served or is serving; alive or who gave the ultimate sacrifice and is no longer physically with us is a Veteran. While we may look at Veteran’s Day as some time off work, watch parades down our main streets and follow with backyard BBQ’s, let’s not forget the sacrifices these men and women have made for us. Let us remember that of the 21.4 million Veterans in our country six-percent remain unemployed after they leave the service. Fifteen-percent (that’s 3.2 million!) have exited because of a service-connected disability and a quarter of million veterans enter the civilian world each year. Many of us know what happens to a football or basketball star after a career-ending injury. Do we know what happens to our warriors? It is my strong belief as a country it is our responsibility to make a gesture of thanks, to remember those who served for us and asked nothing in return. Living under a flag that represents the freedoms so many others across the world are forsaken would be impossible without them.

I know I look forward to the day we honor and hold in higher esteem the men and women who protect our country above those who protect a ball. Don’t you? This Veteran’s Day let others know you feel the same.

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Department of Veteran Affairs

Heather Wilson Blogger BrigadeThank you to Heather Wilson for this heartfelt blog.  Heather can be found at Life of a Traveling Navy Wife.
If you would like to help our Veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project® Believe in Heroes® Campaign be sure to download $25 in free coupons and shop for groceries you are already buying by clicking here. The brands will donate a portion of all proceeds to the cause (ends November 30th).