So, this past Saturday was Veterans Day. It is days like that that make me question everything that I have accomplished while enlisted in the Air Force. You see, I received all these messages, posts, and personal thank yous. Of course, I was polite. I nodded in acceptance and thanked them for their time when we were in person. Then I think to myself, “I’m not done yet.”
Yes, so far, I have accomplished a few things in my career. I have deployed, I have been on several TDYs, I have volunteered my life away. When I say that though, I say it happily. I volunteer to raise money for several organizations from the WWP to the Special Olympics. When I do so, I give those events and charities everything in me to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. I have gone above and beyond to make a name for myself, but I’m not done yet. There is still so much that I want to do that I have yet to do. I have yet to make the mark that I truly set out to make.
With that being said, when I hear “thank you,” in my mind I hear that there is nothing left to accomplish. I hear that there is nothing else to be done. That isn’t true though. There are still several ladders to climb, there are still several obstacles to overcome. That isn’t just with me though, that is with the entire military and our nation as a whole.
Yes, I say “thank you” to all the veterans as a courtesy, but to me, that “thank you” belongs to those that no longer serve. That’s because they have done their part, and they have made their mark.
Needless to say, you won’t see me out making large purchases on days like that, you won’t find me enjoying a free meal, and you won’t find me indulging in those festivities. It is not because I’m ashamed or anything. It is because I feel as though I haven’t yet earned it. The day that I take my uniform off for the final time will be the day that I have truly earned that thank you, and that’s because I will know that I have accomplished everything that I needed and wanted to do.
So, continue to thank a veteran, because well, everyone has done their part. I challenge you though, I challenge you to ask yourself “have you accomplished everything that you set forth to accomplish in your military career?” If you’re not military, ask yourself the same question for whatever field you are in, or in life as a whole. I promise you, that “thank you” will mean so much more to you when you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do. Go forth and conquer. Conquer you dreams, and make them your memories.
Have a good one!