by Rep. Mark Green

For many Americans, Thursday is no different from any other day. They will wake up, go to work, eat dinner or watch football, and go about their lives.

But for those who once put on the uniform and swore an oath to defend this country, Thursday is a special day for reflection.

Army veterans are remembering their time standing on the front lines praying for survival. Navy and Coast Guard veterans think of the weeks and months spent at sea, replaying the memories of manning a ship with unfaltering determination as they patrolled waters near and far. 

Those who served in the Air Force are reliving the most intense days of training, preparing for the day they would have to use this combat knowledge to defeat an enemy of freedom. Marine veterans are recalling the battlefields of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Korea and Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan while their loved ones waited for that next letter back home. 

To all of our veterans who served the United States military in any capacity – some overseas, some in the Reserves, from the depths of the sea to the open skies – this was their day job. To every American citizen, this is heroism.

As I wake up every Nov. 11, my thoughts return to all those I served alongside throughout my 24 years of service.

I think of the man that was shot seven times, yet still came back to serve. 

I think of the dedicated soldier that chose to stay and fight with his battalion long after earning his retirement. 

I think of the shotgun pellets I removed from the face of a brave Navy SEAL. 

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