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Veterans spend years of their lives devoted to keeping us free and protecting the American way of life. During their service, they often miss important events in their own families, including the birth of children, the loss of relatives, and celebrations of their own wedding anniversaries. They willingly sacrifice time with their loved ones so that each one of us living in the United States can safely and freely live our lives as we see fit. Even after their service commitment is complete, we owe veterans our sincere appreciation and they should remain important to America.

America can be viewed through the lens by which it sees its military veterans and the care it offers after their service is complete. For example, the GI Bill Education Benefit is offered to service members who served honorably in the US Armed Forces so they can continue their education and find employment following discharge. Other benefits include the VA Home Loan, which helps veterans afford homeownership, as well as financial benefits for disabilities sustained during their years of service and medical care to protect their health long-term.

Veterans are also important to America because almost every one of them would pick up their arms in the future should they be needed to continue to defend us. Discharge from active or reserve duty in no way changes who they are and what they stand for. They may no longer be enlisted or serve as officers once they’ve been discharged or they retire, yet nearly all of them will say they are still a Soldier, a Marine, a Sailor, or an Airman, no matter what. Once in the military, always a part of the military. This is an oath of service and many would pick up arms for America again if they were asked to. Veterans are an important part of our nation’s past and they are the foundation of liberty. Their commitment to our freedom is ingrained within them and that commitment never waivers.

We owe veterans our own debt of gratitude and America owes them respect. Veterans have always been important to the liberty we often take for granted in our day-to-day lives. Many times people forget that the oath a veteran takes doesn’t disappear once they are no longer in the military. A veteran stands prepared to do whatever is asked to make sure every American sleeps in freedom during both times of war and times of peace.