Veterans Also Owe the American People

By | November 11, 2019

[November 11, 2019]  Today is the 101st anniversary of the end of World War I, also known as the Great War.  Since that time, military veterans are thanked for their service to the nation and help keep us free from tyranny.  Veterans also owe the American people a great sense of gratitude for their opportunity to be part of the greatest institution any free society can build.

Our humbleness is no accident, for each veteran knows in their heart that we are living our dream in the high calling of protecting our country.  Only 1 in 4 Americans are currently eligible to join the U.S. military, and that is true for a variety of reasons.  Today, less than one percent of the population is part of the military, a small number given such a crucial mission we have.

I will strongly argue that our veterans have a deep-seated moral obligation to acknowledge that we must live up to the perceptions of our society at large.  The reason for the obligation is simple.  Veterans are afforded a great gift; while much is expected of us, much is rightly required of us in return.

U.S. President Dwight d. Eisenhower said it best many years ago when he issued the First Proclamation on Veterans Day.  He wrote that all citizens should remember the sacrifices of those who fought for us that we should recognize the sacred duty of those presently serving to guard this peaceful nation.  To do so also means to be respectful and unpretentious in our daily act of wearing the uniform.

“I do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954, as Veterans Day.  On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, a quote from his proclamation issued Vol. 19, No. 198 of the Federal Register (link here)

The veteran does owe the American people.  I believe that our veterans recognize this fact, and that is why we see them throughout our communities, traveling across the nation, and in the news shaking our hands with a smile and a knowing look on their faces.  Veterans are privileged to be part of something greater than themselves and part of a nation that honors them.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

36 thoughts on “Veterans Also Owe the American People

  1. Edward M. Kennedy III

    There are folks who, for some reason, are able to give us new perspectives on life and Gen. Satterfield has done that here in this article. It took me a little by surprise when I read the title but understood when he gave his reasoning. Veterans due owe our nation. They do give more than most of us but also receive much in return. Thanks General Satterfield for your service and for all who served.

    1. Army Captain

      Thank you Mr. Kennedy for your insight to how Gen. Satterfield works. I would also love to see more articles by you.

  2. Wesley Brown

    Happy Veteran’s Day. Good day to all who are vets and those who support them.

  3. Dennis Mathes

    Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919,[1] the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. From Wikipedia

    1. Big Al

      Thank you Dennis and the reminder that not all nations have Nov 11th as their Veterans Day. Some nations don’t even recognize their military.

    2. Joe Omerrod

      Well said. Let’s not forget the allied veterans around the world who were also part of keeping people free from tyranny and dictatorships.

    1. Martin Shiell

      Every act of service, from those who serve stateside in peace, to those who have perished abroad in war, contributes to the freedoms we so often take for granted. The dedication and faithfulness that our servicemen and women give to their tasks inspires us.

    1. Bryan Lee

      It’s an unvarnished look at war. Read it in college. Liked it but it is a dark side that you cannot shake. Veterans of war understand what I mean. Difficult, it must be to “get” this when you’ve not been in a war.

  4. Jung Hoon Kim

    Please accept my deepest respect for you military and veterans.

  5. Jerome Smith

    Originally called Armistice Day, this bittersweet holiday commemorated the end of World War I and all soldiers who died in that horrible conflict. A Congressional Act in May 1938 officially marked Nov. 11 as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.” World peace tho has not been achieved. Certainly that is not the fault of the wonderful men and women who serve!

    1. Janna Faulkner

      I stopped watching two years ago when that crazy, anti-American Kapernack came out and starting disrespecting our military. I also don’t buy Nike shoes either. We’ve organized a local boycott of them and several stores pulled their brand.

      1. Greg Heyman

        Good for you and your neighbors, Janna. We need more to act like you have.

  6. Drew Dill

    “Veterans Also Owe the American People” Veterans owe the American people in a way that is not expected when I read the title of today’s post by Gen Satterfield. Vets simply owe a bit of gratitude (humbly) for having the chance to serve. It is an honor to serve. I was in the US Army and am happy I served and that I’m a vet but I never took it for granted. Thanks all and Happy Veterans Day!

    1. Gil Johnson

      Thank you also, Drew for serving and serving honorably. Let us all not forget that we are writing about the vast majority of those who did serve. I’m particularly honored by knowing several veterans who served in wartime too.

  7. Lynn Pitts

    Good job on today’s post, Gen. Satterfield. It gives me a newer perspective. I know that you are not trying to detract from the respect we give vets but it does show that vets also owe us (we are of course happy to support them).

  8. Valkerie

    Hello everyone! I’m new to this leadership blog that General Satterfield runs. It’s good to be on a site that has short, educational articles on leadership. I’ve been reading the comments and they are also helpful to expand on his ideas.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Welcome to Gen. Satterfield’s leader site where the best among us are those who make the best comments. I’m welcoming you because it’s important to know that we support Veterans and our military. The pantywaisted nut-jobs in Washington DC and the news media don’t deserve our support.

  9. Karl J.

    Like so many Americans, I am honored to have so many of my family that are veterans. One still serving in the US Air Force. I like the fact that so many have given their lives to protect our country and help ensure freedom remains in the world. The little, no-nothing snowflakes in college are dumber than dirt, in my opinion. They should try walking in the boots of our troops for just one day.

    1. Bill Sanders, Jr.

      Thank you Karl and for your family. This is what makes ‘America Great.’
      I too have relatives in my family who serve. I’m more proud of them than I can say here in a few short words.

  10. Jane Fillmore

    Nearly all the men in my family were in the military at some point in their lives. I used to sit on my granddad’s lap and hear the stories of his friendship with the men who served with him. He is past on now but his memories continue in me.

  11. Eric Coda

    “Thanks to the failure of the press, and to the stupidity of Hollywood,” wrote Sgt. Denis Nunan, camped in a small town in Italy, to his mother on March 23, 1945, “the Home Front has no real conception of war, and only by letters home can the truth be made known.” – quote from the NYT article you have in your Daily Favorites, Gen Satterfield. Thanks!

    1. Darwin Lippe

      We still see such a great distortion of war and soldiers by Hollywood and the “news media” that it makes me sick. Strange that the “professionals” in those places, the ones who we’ve grown to mistrust are the only ones delivering what is happening overseas with our troops. General Satterfield, well done in capturing some of this in your article.

      1. JT Patterson

        Darwin, I do believe you reflect the sentiment of many of us; veterans or supporters of veterans. 👍

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Yes, Dale and General Satterfield has made a website that we should encourage others to read. Today’s article gives a twist on Veterans Day that none of us would have thought about. Why else would we think that Veterans also owe Americans. They owe the fact that we are the ones who support them, send them items in the mail, and pat them on the back.

    2. Albert Ayer

      This is why I’ve decided this leadership blog is my ‘go to’ site for info on leadership and on making me think. That last one is hard but it works.

      1. José Luis Rodriguez

        I’m sure, Albert that Gen. Satterfield thanks us for our support too. His nearly 40 years in the US army tells us a lot about his success and his priorities.

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