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Military service members develop a sense of pride and honor during their time in uniform, largely inspired by the tremendous responsibility they assume the moment they take an oath to defend our nation. Whether after a few years or a few decades of service, inevitably, there comes a time for all of us to pack away our uniforms for the last time, and assume the title of “veteran.”

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AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

“Military veteran” is one of the few terms and experiences that binds people from different backgrounds who don’t know one another. The question, “Where’d you serve,” is a social level-setter, and points to something much deeper than being alumni of the same school or having grown up in the same hometown. It’s such a strong bond, in fact, that many military vets have trouble connecting with people who haven’t had that experience.

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