When you wake up do you think, ‘It is time to breathe’ or ‘Breathe in, breath out’?  Probably not. It is just second nature to breathe in and out without a second thought about it.  It is just your natural inclination and your body’s natural instinct to breath, but what if your natural instincts were ripped away and you had no idea how to go about something as easy as to breathe in and out?  Your core would be absolutely rocked.  Life as you knew it would never be the same.  Naturally speaking you would probably die because the body needs oxygen in order to survive, we receive oxygen by breathing.  Soldiers and Veterans in a lot of ways are similar to that analogy.  Once taken away from the unit that they know, trust, and belong to it can be very difficult to even do the simplest of tasks because they are out of their “natural” element.

A core of something is its center.  Its most inner make-up.  The military is made up of different branches Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force.  And each of these branches is made up of individuals, patriotic individuals, who want to serve God and Country.  These people are a special breed and have a calling, be it patriotism or be it college, they are exceptional in every way.

American Exceptionalism is the core of the United States of America.  In America we are capable of doing anything we put our mind to.  It is important to realize this, especially, when we look at our Veterans.  Being an exceptional person in itself is not a hard thing to do because we are all created in the image of God (thus making us all exceptional), but it is very important to not let our exceptionalism overtake us and be prideful.  Our Veterans, who were once soldiers, were broken down to the point of being no-ones and built back up to the point of being the best at what they do.  Leading them into a life that some people may call callous and hard, yet, these people are the furthest from that.  These people are the most caring people in the world.

Worldly caring is a hard concept to grasp.  Our men and women in uniform have very strong beliefs, and very strong opinions, mess with their idea of right or wrong and you will have hell to pay!  American’s have to grasp that to the military core is black and white.  There is no room for grey.  Grey gets people killed.  Not a lot of grey area for a combat soldier.

Think back to the movie “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper, the scene where he had to make the choice to kill a child or not.  Was this an easy decision?  No.  Did he do the right thing?  Yes.  He saved the life of his fellow servicemen.  This is a decision that makes our warriors question what they did.  Sometimes their regret is over-powering, but the decisions that they make in that split second is always right.  Always!  The only decision that can be wrong is the decision that gets your brother killed.  Our combat soldiers are trained to immediately react to their surroundings.  The decisions they make are generally on the fly, and will not be in haste.

In most cases you will see that our core makeup of our Veterans is that they care very deeply.  Just because someone cares deeply doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the opposition.  Sometimes a Veteran cares so intensely that it seems as though they hate the opposite, which often that is not the case.  The Combat Veteran’s core is to care about things that affect them.  That is why in many cases these people will be offended by how a Veteran does things.

You may have heard that a soldier is all grit.  In a lot of cases that is true, but when it comes down to it they have to be.  The old adage, “You can take the soldier out of the military, but you can never take the military out of the man,” is the most truth ever told.

Compassion.  You may not know it, but a Combat Veteran is going to be one of the most compassionate people that you have ever met.  Think about it this way:  The soldier that went to combat, may have not realized that they were going to combat, maybe they thought they were going to a green zone, but none-the-less they went to combat.  Once in combat the most selfish person, if tested, will become the most selfless person.  They care about the man to the left and to the right of them – that becomes their mission, not just in combat, but it becomes their mission in life.  So you may see the gruff and rough exterior, but the truth of the matter is that these people are compassionate.  They care about you, they care about me, and they will give their lives for the person next to them.  That is compassion!

Honesty.  Do you hate being lied to?  Do you hate being told a little white lie?  Veterans for the most part do as well.  When people take the Oath of Enlistment or the Oath of Commission, these people take their oaths seriously.  In order to be a better soldier they will tell the truth and will not perjure themselves.  When asking the opinion of a Veteran, you better believe that you are getting the truth.  Unless of course it is on April Fool’s Day.  We all know most Veteran’s love a good joke!

Selfless-Service.  Who among your friends do you know who is selfless?  Maybe a pastor or somebody from the cloth, or maybe a neighbor?  What does it take to be selfless?  Google defines selfless as: concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.  What is more selfless than giving their life to provide for the wants and needs of the people?  A Veteran was willing to do that.  A soldier is willing to do that, and many have.  We give to Veterans because they have given so much to us or were willing to do give so much for us.  Basic training in the military, all militaries, teach how to be selfless.  Because it is important to remain humble, and realize that the man on the left and to the right of them are want to go home just as much as they do.  By giving themselves to protecting each other is the time that they learn to become selfless.  They are not only giving to their brothers and sisters in their units, but they are giving to the American people as well.

The core of the Veteran is not complex.  Yet, the core is made up of many different values that people need to have.  The Core of the Veteran is the make-up of American fortitude that will last forever in this world that will stand up against evil and keep this country worth living in!

Until next time:

PEACE

thankaveteran

Kenny Holmes
CEO / President at FreedomSystem.org
My name is Kenneth Holmes (Kenny, please!). I have two degrees from Indiana University - an Associates in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors in General Studies (concentrations Political Science, English, and Electronic Media). I am medically retired from the United States Army after 12 years of serving our great and wonderful country: United States of America. I am a father, a husband, a son, a brother, and a productive member of society!

My full time job is working with veterans and making their lives more manageable. I own my own photography company, Holmes Photography, and I build websites and do other side computer related work - graphics and the whatnot!

If you would like to know more about me you can email me at kenny@kennyleeholmes.com or kenny@freedomsystem.org