Courtesy photo

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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U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth

Just over a year ago, the Joint Chiefs signed a letter addressed to all of those who have served in uniform since Sept. 11, 2001, recognizing that they “stepped forward as volunteers” when our nation needed them most. With an eye toward the future and the understanding that approximately one million service members will hang up their uniforms in the next five years, the Joint Chiefs implored service members to apply their “experience, intellect, and character” in their communities as veterans. Aptly, the letter has come to be called “The Call to Continued Service” — a rallying call for veterans to seize opportunities to make a difference and apply their intrinsic leadership traits to enhance their new role within their civilian communities.

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