Serving at Home and Abroad This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “He was just gone.” My grandfather repeated these words over and over as tears filled his eyes. “I should have done something t save his life; I should have been there. We were marching in the marshy battlefield, he was 19 years old ...” his voice trailed off and he looked into the distance, flinching. “Then out of nowhere, a bullet came and ... and ... he was just gone, just gone.”

I did not need to know all the details; the pain and misery burning in my grandfather’s eyes said it all. I cannot fathom what he and thousands of other soldiers endured during that war, but I respect them for what they sacrificed for their country.

Sometimes, I do not think people realize the selfless acts that veterans made for their country and loved ones. These soldiers sacrificed, at the very least, their normal lives to defend their fellow Americans. They left families and friends back home while they went to face death. In addition to taking a major toll on the soldiers, the war also affected their families who were left wondering if their loved ones would ever return. Imagine living with that uncertainty day after day.

Not only does war affect soldiers immediately, it changes their whole lives through their horrifying memories that flood their minds daily. These scars not only stay in their bodies, but in their hearts too. These men and women are truly heroes.

Many military personnel constantly display a patriotic state of mind. They dedicate their lives to serving their country and do so in everything they do, constantly looking out for the welfare of others. The military assisted those in Florida and New Orleans during their time of devastation. The staff at the veterans’ hospitals aid those who served and now need help in return. Soldiers continue to defend their country by serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and on bases around the world. They are fighting so that we can have a peaceful way of life. Whether these individuals are at home or abroad, they are always in our hearts and prayers.

Veterans Day should not be considered just another day off from school or work; we should truly take to heart what these men and women have done for our country and appreciate their honorable acts. We need to use this day to commemorate them, for they sacrificed for us. These individuals are no less than heroes of the heart, mind, and spirit, regardless of whether they serve at home or abroad, today or decades ago.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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