• Derek Jones

3 Valuable Lessons from America's Veterans

In the month of September, 1620, our forefathers (the Pilgrims) embarked on a journey to America. They brought values and morals with them. They also learned new ones through the many struggles and challenges they had to face.

Our veterans, from the War for Independence to the current campaigns in the Middle East, have fought to keep those principles. They have protected our nation from the ideas of tyrannical leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Ayatollah Khomeini, Sadaam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden.

The brave men and women of our armed forces have fought to protect the United States and defend the helpless nations of the world from these men and their evil intentions.

1. Work Hard.

As the youth of America, we can learn hard work through the example of each and every veteran. They had to rely on one another to complete each task they were assigned.

Let me ask you this: how many of you have had to dig a trench in frozen ground and sleep in it, or attempt to move a tank through thick mud, or marched barefoot in frigid temperatures with rags for “clothing”?

These heroes have had to work hard to defend our country.

2. Have Courage.

The second thing we can learn from our veterans is bravery and courage. They have stood in battle formation across a field of enemies who have powerful cannons and charged into the massacre. They have ridden in landing crafts against a heavily defended beach.

When these “Higgins’s boats” deployed, the first men were shot dead on the spot. They have been shot down in their Black Hawk helicopters and have fought through a mob of hateful terrorists in a vain attempt to escape. A popular military slogan says, “No man left behind.” Only through bravery and courage could this message be conveyed.

3. Be Willing to Sacrifice.

The most important lesson we can learn from America’s veterans is that freedom is worth fighting and dying for.

After Pearl Harbor, many young teenagers lied about their age in order to defend the threat to America’s freedom. They have been beaten, tortured, mutilated, and emaciated; but never have they been broken because of the passion they have for freedom.

Besides teaching, they have demonstrated hard work, displayed true bravery and courage, and paid the ultimate price to provide freedom. This freedom is for all peoples, races, and cultures.

Their legacy “leads by example.” They do not just teach; they live what they preach. Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is only one generation away from becoming extinct.”

I, as a representative of the youth of America, have been inspired to work hard to achieve a goal, to be brave and courageous in all I do, and to be willing to die for what I believe. That is how the Service and Sacrifice of America’s Veterans benefits today’s Youth.

So I ask you, are you willing to sacrifice for freedom?

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