In Service to Our Nation: Veteran's Day Editorial

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Melvin
Battalion Commander, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
4th Sustainment Brigade

In honor of Veteran’s Day, it is important that we, as a nation of free citizens, take a moment and recognize service members of past and present for their service to the Nation.

I am an advocate of the Soldier and all the hard work that he or she does or has done in the course of our nation’s history.  It is sometimes frustrating when I see or read about individuals who believe they should be equally recognized for their civilian accomplishments to the same degree as those who made the selfless commitment to don the uniform, even if only for a short time. Military service is not the only means through which citizens can serve their country, but their level of sacrifice and civic sense of duty is unique.  At its core, the issue is not about public recognition and whether Soldiers deserve special praise. 

For Soldiers, service to the Nation requires no recognition because Soldiers know that  freedom from tyranny and the right to self-govern is the mark of the American Soldier. Soldiers and their families endure the heavy sacrifice required of their service out of patriotic fervor and the principle of freedom.

Most Soldiers understand our form of government is not perfect, but they are equally cognizant that our government is particular to the American way of life and one that maximizes freedom.

Of all rights we hold dearest, how wonderful it is to have the freedom to express one’s thoughts.  We Veterans appreciate your expression of support.   

To those Texans and citizens who greet us daily as we exit the R&R flights at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, you make up for all of the abandonment we have ever experienced. You are my Heroes. Your cheers, smiles, and support make up the foundation of truly wonderful memories that indelible capture the American spirit. It is difficult to express our appreciation and gratitude in words. 

On this Veterans’ Day, please recognize a past or current Soldier with a “Thank You” to them and their families; the dedication and love of a wife, husband, daughter, son, mom or dad brings honor to the American Military and the American Family.

Military families are sometimes charged with carrying overwhelming heartache and loss as the result of their loved ones’ service.  As such, it is most important to thank the family members of each American Soldier, especially those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

These families are deserving of this honor, not only on Veteran’s Day, but every day.  We should show military families that their loved ones did not leave this world in vein and that every Soldier’s memory will not be forgotten in the annals of time.

As Soldiers, we could never succeed without the support our love ones provide.  Every American should stand up and say “Thank You” when family members, who toil and grieve for their Soldier, walk into a room. 

I am honored to be in your presence and stand in the memory of their sacrifice which will never end.  You are the fabric that binds this country together and we can not forget you and your loved one.  My heart goes out to the families and friends of fallen and injured Soldiers.

God Bless our “Gold Star” families.

I pray these family members are not forgotten on this day.  Every American should pay attention to those families around them or whom they know at a distant post.  Make a phone call today and show your support. 

Thank you Soldiers, past and present.  Thank you mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters of the American Soldier.

God preserve the memory of our American Veterans, Lest We Forget.

Matt Melvin
An American Soldier


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Lieutenant Colonel Matt Melvin is the Battalion Commander of the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. He uses the term Soldier in this article as representation for all US Men and Women serving in the United States Armed Services.