What a blessing it is to live in the United States of America! This truly is the greatest country on the face of the earth. In our county, we have freedoms that other countries do not have. We are able to dream big dreams, enjoy our lives in peace, and have security. Because of the millions of veterans that have chosen to step up and sacrifice their lives, we have these freedoms. We celebrate Veterans Day to honor each veteran that has ever chosen to take the pledge and defend our beautiful country. 

When I was a child, I used to love hearing stories from my grandfather, uncles, and friends about the experiences they had while serving in the military. I deeply admired their courage and their willingness to sacrifice for something that they believed in so much. Listening to them and seeing their heartfelt passions, I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps someday. I have always loved reading about history because it inspires me to learn what it took and still takes for our country to be a free country. 

In 2001, I got my chance to serve our country. It is the one thing that I am most proud of in my life. Each Veterans Day, many people come to me and thank me for my service and it feels good. It gives me a sense of honor and appreciation. It also makes me feel glad that I served. 

I also am often asked by others, “What can we really do for you to show our appreciation for your service?" Here are three things that come to mind and I believe every veteran would agree with me in answering this question.

1. We want to see kindness. 

Being kind to each other is so important. When we are all kind to one another it makes the world a better place. No matter our differences, kindness toward others is something we should keep at the top of our minds. As we all go through our day, there are so many opportunities to be kind to others. Kindness is a choice we have to make on a daily basis. Life is tough for everyone, but kindness can make life a little more pleasurable. 


2. We want to see love.

Love is not just a word—it is something we do. Show love for not just family and friends, but for everyone. Love goes hand-in-hand with kindness but it also adds a little more. There is so much hate in this world, but we can change that by loving our neighbors as ourselves. We can start by simply encouraging others when they are down and doing random acts of kindness—like buying someone in the drive-thru line behind you a coffee, or visiting elderly people in the nursing homes, or maybe donating toys to homeless children for Christmas. If we just look around with our hearts then we would see opportunities to love in every crack and corner. I believe love truly is the answer to all of our problems.


 3. We want to see harmony. 

Getting along with one another is vital and is key to success in anything that we do. As humans, we need each other. We actually have more in common than we have differences. Society does not make it seem this way, but it is true. Living in harmony with our family, friends, and neighbors makes life better for everyone. Just as kindness and love are something we have to practice on a daily basis, harmony is also a daily practice. It is intentional. We can either look for the differences in others or we can look for things that are the same. We will always see what we look for. 


—by Derek Brown, Regional Account Manager for PMF and American Veteran