Veterans Day is also about remembering those who served for our country and those whom we served with. It is also about remembering the time and experiences, whether good or bad, we shared and what they mean to us.

Here are your stories about remembrance.

Ramon Hidalgo-Acosta, MSG, U.S. Army (Retired)

Veterans Day is a special time to me to remember and honor those citizens who when called upon to do their duty, without hesitation served and sacrificed such much in wars or in peaceful times for the values that our nation stands for.

James M.:

I am a veteran of both Army and Navy and Veterans Day means to me remembering all veterans past and present. My cousin who was SEAL Team One in Vietnam and was wounded during one of the worst ambushes the teams experienced over there, and my grandfather who as a member of the 106th Cavalry participated in the Battle of the Bulge and my Great Grandfather who fought in the first World War. I remember on every Veterans Day the service and sacrifice all of us have made, but it’s not just for us; it’s also for the families who support us. So if you ask me what Veterans Day means it is a day to remember all who served and sacrificed for this great country. And some did not come back. And those of us who did came back different than when we left. But we did it for our families and most of all our great country.

Damon M.:

Veterans’ Day to me has always meant honoring those who gave everything they had for their brothers and sisters in arms. But it also meant to me personally to remember that even though they only get one day to be thought of, I always remember there could be a bunch of team guys or just some regular grunts in the fight for their lives. And in my heart, me thinking about them gives them the strength to overcome whatever enemies stand in their way. So when Veterans Day comes around with the entire country thinking about them, they become invincible forces of nature that bulldoze all the bad guys in their way.

Wesley T.:

As a Army Veteran having family and friends that have served and are serving I am thankful for them watching my back or supporting each other in other ways. But also remembering the fallen, for without them, who would be left to stand with us! How would that effect us as a family and what second-tier effects would that have on our missions.
We truly should be a family that is “One for All and All for One”

Donny D.:

What Veterans Day means for me. It’s a day of different emotions for me. Remembering the good times with past friends I served with that have either gotten out or changed units. It’s also a time of sadness by visiting either the families or the resting place of those who moved on. Veterans Day is a day vets should check on each other and ensure their buddy is doing well, but that should be at least an every week or every month thing. What it means for me… it’s a day of being humble to others who might not know the pain we Veterans have been through.

What Veterans Day Means to You: Gratitude

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Gabriel R.:

Veterans day. To me, it encompasses everything and everyone I hold close and at the same time it’s everything I have feared. It’s a service member’s bday but also a reminder to face tribulations and talk about things with your fellow vets and heal. And if nothing else, live for one day for the friends who fell in the hot sand of Iraq.

Kilted Dragon:

Veterans Day means a lot to me. It reminds me that some of my Brothers in Arms are still overseas and getting shot at and that they are in my thoughts and prayers completely. There’s more but those are personal.

Robert S.:

The best years of my life, began as a 17-year-old, joining the RA at Oswestry, for basic training, 12 weeks of hell, followed by nine years rollicking great fun, hard work, great mates, finally leaving the army in 1976. I sincerely believe in national service, it should be brought back

Doug L.:

This day is the day that I get to show my support for my dad, a Vietnam Veteran, and for my son, serving currently in the United States Army, and to let them both know how grateful and proud I am of their unselfish sacrifice and dedication to our beloved Country. The day I get to see my dad wear his patches and Vietnam Veteran ball cap knowing that he will forever be part of history. This day that my son knows is set aside for him and the choice he made. God Bless America and all our fighting men and women

Peter B.:

Night to turn to Day
We will Remember them the fallen that is. But what of the rest that
return and can not rest.

Those that trained to be the best so you could be a success without
that stress, so in your bed securely you might rest. Those that carry
the horrors in their head that no longer sleep in their bed.

We will Remember them the fallen that is. But what of the rest that
return and can not rest.

What of those unable to forget ,whose memories are triggered by
bangs and flashes, or simple smells from the barbecue
and are now so desperate for the
night to turn to day. Night to turn to day. Night to turn to day.

What Veterans Day Means to You: Honor

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We must Remember all those that return and cannot rest, before one
more decides that Rest In Peace is best and shatters the lives of
those that love them best.

Clay J.:

What does Veterans day mean to me? The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month reminds me that our great Veterans are the foundation of what makes our nation great. Everything we have is due to those who went before us and answered the call and put their life on the line for a cause bigger than themselves. Although I think of them every day, Veterans Day reminds me of my Grandfather who fought in the artillery in WWI and my Dad who fought in Korea. They are and always will be my heroes and they inspired me to join the service. I was privileged to serve for over 24 years in the USMC and U.S. Army to include over 17 years in Special Forces. However, the greatest honor and what I reflect on every Veterans Day is that the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are the greatest treasure of our nation and we as a nation must never forget that. Less than one half of the U.S. population currently serves in the Armed Forces. Many in society only get exposure to the military through Hollywood or history books. November 11th must remind all of us that our great Veterans are our national treasure and we owe everything to them not just on this day, but every day.

Jim J.S.:

This is the day that we remember those who sacrificed their time to serve our Country. Some gave two years, three years, four years, 20 or more years to this great nation, so that the rest of us may sleep soundly at night. Many served to protect other nations as well.

I tell many people to think about what you have done in the past few years, and then remember that many Veterans during that same amount of time endured hardships, sleeping on the ground, eating food out of cans or envelopes. Being shot at day and night, not knowing what the next day may bring…

These where my thoughts when I served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968 (22 months in Da Nang, Vietnam)
then the U.S. Army Special Forces, and also MACV-SOG as a recon Team Leader in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for another 18 months. And also Underwater Operations, 1968 to 1978. Then serving in the USAF Pararescue as a PJ Stateside, performing Jump Missions and Hoist missions, risking our lives to save others. 1978 to 1984.

We must never forget our Veterans. May God Bless them one and all…

Mike D.:

What Veterans Day means me to is a day to remember those who fought for our freedoms and gave themselves honorably for the flag foreign and domestic. I salute myself and those who are still serving and fighting the fight every day home and abroad. Amen to those families who have sacrificed and god bless those still serving.

Ronald H.:

Most people do not care about Veterans Day. I do. They used to close down stores. Now you are told at Dunkin’ Donuts “come in tomorrow you will get a free donut.” You will get a free shopping bag. Kids are not taught about Veterans Day. When I came home from Vietnam I was dumped on. Garbage, dog poo and spit. Then there is Hanoi Jane. Vietnam veterans are still pissed about it. All I can say is the veterans only care about veterans. When you meet one like me you are told “welcome home” and they shake your hand and then ask when you were their. Now with what is going on with this election who knows how they will treat the military. The government does not care about their veterans. I have had claims with the Veterans Health Administration since 1993. I had to get a lawyer, while still waiting for an exam even though I have proof from a civilian doctor who sees the damage to me. I have been waiting for an appointment from a medical service QTC since March. They keep on wanting me to drive long distance for the exam. My wife is in remission from cancer. I have to stay close to home.

Ronald R. Hirth Vietnam Veteran. 1968-1969

Rodney T.:

Veterans Day has always had meaning in this family… from our youth, when playing yearly in the high school band at the VA Cemetery in Luxemburg during our Father’s USAF career, to the tearful time I escorted him to the Vietnam memorial wall to see the names of friends lost, or the memory of his military burial due to Agent Orange exposure. His first war was against Japan during WWII. Scorched on my brain are the memories of serving on a USAF honor guard team during a Memorial Day week at a series of VA cemeteries on the beaches of Normandy during one of my nine years in the USAF service before leaving to serve 20+ years as an FBI Special Agent. Each visit to the VA Hospital to treat my own disabilities brings home the depths of pride and honor of being among those who served and suffered for something greater than themselves. Likewise, memories of our son’s service in the USAF as a KC-135 pilot over the combat zones brings our family pride of service, which extends beyond generations, as well as sadness for the families of his Squadron mates lost while deployed in the combat zone.

Ken C.:

What Veterans Day means to me. It means everything to me, my family, my friends and colleagues. I don’t take this day lightly nor do I take my service to this country lightly. I served with the U.S. Navy in 1989-1990. I continue to serve this country as a 1st Responder/police officer. When I hear about our brave men and women who made the supreme sacrifice, my heart breaks. I stand and salute our nation’s flag every day and remember those that made the supreme sacrifice from 1775 to the present. I will never kneel down to the flag. Only to our savior Jesus Christ and to pray.

Stephen W.:

My father the veteran. He was wounded on Omaha Beach. His Purple Heart is on the table by my bed. I lost him 20 years ago and miss him every day…

He was a charter member of the VFW post in his hometown in Illinois and a long time member and past commander of the American Legion Post in Orange, Ca. It was his home away from home, and he was highly respected.

He never spoke about it much, but was proud to be a veteran. It was part of what made him the man he was, and the man I loved.

Buck H.:

My family has a history of Canadian Army Military history four generations reaching back to Boer War; and my Brother is an Afghan/Middle East Vet!

I have provided security support and work with humanitarian aid and assistance. Many United States forces have provided support in many operations I have worked with. Very proud of their work especially their compassion and overall approach.

But my Grandfather, Douglas Wyper, is the Hero of our family. In 1939 as a 16-year-old he lied and joined the Canadian army! Four years later he stormed the beach in Sicily as a member of the Red Devils! Alongside some Americans they created havoc amongst the axis lines killing them silently. Their efforts caused many Germans to retreat. He spent the rest of the War fighting up the Italian peninsula. At war’s end he moved his British family to Canada. He was addicted to serving and became a Firefighter until he was 65. He died quietly and painlessly a few years later. He told many stories about the Soldiers he fought with and captured. He taught me that love and compassion in difficult situation is possible. My father served many years as a United Nations peacekeeper in a variety of countries. He taught me unwavering patience.

My brother is my rock , he is younger. He has taught me perseverance. Thanks for the forum! Thank you for all your Service.

Fred S.:

I always get emotional on Veterans Day. Here in the Hollywood district in Portland Oregon we have a huge parade. And following that, a USO style show put on by local celebrity Tony Starlight. I also get angry. As a Viet Nam veteran (Actual combat, not some REMF) I was treated badly when I got back stateside, spit on by budding Democrats, not accepted at the VFW or American Legion, and quite frankly treated badly by fellow members of the military. So, mixed emotions, a lot like real life, just more so!

Jim K.:

My dad and I are the only two members in our extended family that ever went into the service. My dad joined the Marine Corps in WWII and served in almost all major invasions with MAG 22. I tried to join the Marines when I was 17 to go to Vietnam, but my dad thought the war was a really bad idea, and encouraged me to stay in school. And he would not sign my paperwork.

So I had seen veteran’s parades, gone to VFW with my dad, and heard some stories from veterans. Some were very talkative and sounded a bit like guys on baseball and football teams who never got to play. The quiet ones when prodded, sometimes would say a few words, if it was just my dad. They all seemed proud to have taken the time to serve, and were proud of their units.

I was drafted in 1968, and volunteered for Rangers selection overseas at Cam Ranh Bay. I passed and was assigned to H Co Rangers 75th Inf. Abn. at Phouc Vinh. Five-six man teams, recon, hunter/killer, BDAs, downed aircraft, etc. I got to see as much action as I wanted, and was wounded several times. The last time was sucking chest. It almost killed me. I spent several months in hospitals with complications. When I got out, I could no longer pass the physical tests for Rangers or SF.

I went to college, and heard many explanations when asked about why I had gone and served, and why whoever was asking had not. One guy lectured me as to why he felt I was an idiot but that he had it all figured out in 1968. That was a good thing, because 1968-1970, were definitely bad years. I volunteered again in 1984 and went with B Co. 3rd Bn. 20th Gp. SF Abn. for five years, because they told me they needed combat veterans to teach. I never hesitated, and am proud of both units.

The most important thing was what I saw in the faces of the men who served. All had “better things to do” as a couple of politicians said when asked why they didn’t serve. But these men readily stepped right up. And many, more than I like to say, did not come back. Or came back where their lives were never the same again. They gave that up for you and me. I got to have a family and 50 more years of enjoying my life. We owe them some reverence and thoughts for their sacrifices. Slow Hand Salute

Steven V.:

What Veterans Day means to me! Veteran’s Day is a very, very important day of celebration to me. I come from a military family. My grandfather was in the Army, my father was in the Marines (he passed away), I am Marine and my son is a Marine (his grandfather on his mother’s side of the family is also a Marine). We also love celebrating 10 November for the birthday of the Marine Corps. My brother was a Ranger in the Army. I look forward to this day because it celebrates and honors the lives of the men and women who make sacrifices to keep this country the way it is. I actually believe that all men and women after turning 18 should be members of the Armed Services so they will appreciate this country and the men and women who served. The brotherhood/sisterhood of the military is very special and will always be remembered. I always feel proud when I see military vehicles and/or helicopters/jets/airplanes because my family is part of that family. This day of celebration will always be the most important holiday because of who and what it represents for this nation.

Matthew K.:

To give the hard-earned respect and remembrance to those who have stepped up to defend the lives and freedoms of people they will never meet and may never know the cost that has been paid to ensure that liberty. That is what Veterans Day means to me. Veterans Day, I believe, is a reminder not just to thank those who defend us and ensure our way of life one day of the year with a discounted meal at Applebee’s, but to instead to remind ourselves that it’s our commitment to serve and protect them once their duty is complete and to be a grateful nation for their service and sacrifice.