Veteran at heart with pride in leadership

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Sabina C. Garrett
  • 71st Medical Support Squadron commander
Many of us think of veterans as retired military members that reminisce about past war stories or tales of long time friendships from several decades ago. In reality, a person is a veteran from day one of military service until the day they die.

We must always remember that it requires strength, dedication, and a sense of service to take and uphold the oath of responsibility. Being a veteran is not handed to you -- it is earned.

Military service today continues to build strong, honorable veterans by offering a path of endless opportunities for learning and growth in duty and self. Leadership and military service are almost inseparable. Without even realizing it, leadership traits are embedded in our thoughts and actions creating a warrior ethos that every military recruit, officer or enlisted, learns and incorporates in their daily lives.

Military culture and professional development builds a long lasting talent of leadership, teamwork, adaptability, fitness and much more that prepares us to meet tomorrow's mission demands and challenges.

Another crucial component of our makeup is our moral foundation. We clearly live in a strategic, professional and ethical environment. This drives us to maintain and uphold a professional responsibility in service, expertise, leadership and behavior. This is what truly sets us apart from all others.

Take a moment to stop the rigors of your day and let the coolness in the autumn air touch your face while you listen to the "sound of freedom" fly overhead. That engrained feeling of dedication to country will touch the veteran in you.

That pride in your heart will show its presence today and ultimately leave a legacy for tomorrow. Take it upon yourself to pass the learned traits of leadership and moral standards to the next generation. That is your tradition of honor.

We must always remember those veterans of the past, but also remember and keep that pride aglow as a proud veteran of the present.