A New Perspective:
What Veteran's Day Means to Me from Veterans Ambassador, Stephan Porter
As we have often said, we believe veterans deserve special recognition 365 days a year, not just on Veteran's Day. This year for Veteran's Day, we honored our nation's heroes with blog posts all week long, kicking off on Veteran's Day, highlighting what Veteran's Day means to some of Wellness Wishes' family members.
We thought it fitting, in welcoming our newest family member, Stephan Porter, Veterans Ambassador, in having him announce his position by telling what Veteran's Day means to him. Please join me in welcoming Stephan, by reading his heart-felt story:
A NEW PERSPECTIVE:
What Veteran's Day Means to me!
Stephan Porter: U.S. Army Retired | Medical Enlisted Corps & Medical Service Corps
Veterans Ambassador (& Greater Military Community Advocate)
Veterans Day is all about recognition; originally known as Armistice Day, it was established to honor the end of World War I (officially Nov 11, 1918). This Holiday, much like our Veterans, went through much turmoil to get to where it is today. It was 1954 (where the word Veteran replaced Armistice) when it became a day to honor Veterans of all wars. It was 1978 when the holiday was finally set to what we have today…
recognizing all that served!
This year, in particular, I have so many thoughts; I could not possibly expound on them all. The most i though, is the stark difference between where I began my military journey to today only a few short weeks off the Roles of the Army after 32 years. So, for this year what Veteran’s Day means to me is reflection and a recognition of...
‘A New Perspective’
Growing up, the idea of thanking Veterans had faded from normal activity; the fallout of the Vietnam war protests, and the treatment of those that served there in particular. There was no displayed thankfulness as you see today. My father, grandparents, and uncles served, but that service was not at the forefront of our family, so I had no desire for military service. As providence would have it, a very good, and honest recruiter who was passionate about his service was the first to begin changing my perspective. I recognized the value of joining, money for school and training (what I could get); I enlisted and spent the next five months with a reserve unit before heading to training (eventually back home to go to college). All my leaders where Vietnam Veterans, and I learned much about that time, and those that served then. First at an 11 November, Operation Stand Down event, serving Vietnam Veterans to get the help they needed, achieve dignity and access their next opportunity. That is the first time I heard, “thank you for your service” as well as “welcome home!” I learned so much about sacrifice and service; a new perspective began to emerge. I did recognize immediately, that those brothers needed to be welcomed home (as they never were) and thanked for their sacrifice and service.
Moving along in my career, I served as a Medical Platoon Leader within the 25th Infantry Division. Up to this point my “service” was still about getting to the things I wanted to do, and what I could get from the military. Standing shoulder to shoulder with officers and NCOs that lived a life of service to their fellow Soldiers, and to the Nation affected me deeply! This was life changing, I wanted to defend our Nation and truly serve. I turned my vision towards my profession, and I devoted myself to this idea; leading to my continued military service for the next 24 years. A new perspective emerged and solidified!
This is the first Veterans Day where I had any recognition or experienced where I was not in the military. So, the Veteran status was always a bit different. I am now fully a “Veteran”, not a Service Member benefiting from the recognition (or lack thereof) of those who served before me. My thoughts swirl around all those in my life, from my earliest memories, who served that I never thanked and will not get the chance to. This is the most stark new perspective ever, and I will not let the opportunity to recognize all who served...
to thank them for their service...
and to some, to finally welcome them home!
It is my intention to spend the remainder of my days serving those who served; affecting the recognition of Veterans and their Families’ sacrifices and service beyond just November 11th.
Happy Veterans Day...let it not be just a day!
May God bless and keep all who serve and those that serve them!