Many of us veterans didn't choose to serve in the military. There was a thing called the draft that chose it for us. So, in a way, when it comes to Veterans Day, my feeling is that the biggest accolades should go to those who chose to serve.
Maybe because "choice" is a big thing these days. You have a "right" to choose to do this and to do that. Getting drafted isn't something that most of today's generation can't imagine. The military decides what you'll be, where you'll go, who you go with, how long you'll be there and when. The military could decide whether you'll sit behind a desk or carry a rifle in combat. Whether you get nice duty in Hawaii, lonely duty on Guam on combat duty in a fire zone. Whether you live or die, whether you are crippled for life or whether you retire after 20 years on a nice pension.
So, it is with that understanding that on this Veterans Day, I choose to laud those who volunteer. Every man and woman who serves today volunteered. Each knew the risks and accepted them. For whatever reason. So, for the millions of you who did this, I give you a hand salute.