Here’s what I think about on Veterans Day: The guys who get decorated that we think of as heroes – they don’t think they are heroes. That’s because all good soldiers basically just do what they are supposed to do all the time, even if nobody tells them to.
The difference between an Army Commendation Medal and a Medal of Honor is the situation – that’s all. Both guys just did what they were supposed to do in the situation that came up. To me that means that the heroic act is signing up. After that, it’s just a matter of chance. The Medal of Honor recipients all say the same thing.
My message would be, if you know a veteran, on Veterans Day thank him or her for what he or she would have done if the situation called for it. Thank the veteran’s parents for raising such a person. Thank the veteran’s kids for letting us borrow their mom or dad. And thank the veteran’s spouse for risking everything.
Matthew T. Bidou, United States Army veteran