Local high school student Emily Messimore wrote this essay as an entry into the VFW essay contest. She won first place at the local level and second in the district. Congratulations, Emily!
George Washington was our nation’s first president. Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald changed the face of modern literature. Yogi Berra was a baseball legend. My elementary school principal held the respect of all his students. What is the relation between all of these men? They are veterans of the United States military. The loyalty and drive of veterans has impacted our great nation throughout history. Veterans play an important role in America’s history, future, and the lives of all Americans.
What is found in every American history book? The influence of military forces and the great impact made by veterans even before the United States was officially formed. Veterans have molded this country since the first battle cries of the Revolutionary War. If the few experienced soldiers who supported America had not stepped up and used their wisdom to lead the rebelling colonists they may have never won the freedom that continues to define America today.
An instilled sense of duty and commitment has driven veterans to attain outstanding goals and weave the intricate web of stories that formed today’s America.
World changers are needed to continue weaving the web and to transform today’s America into an even brighter future. Veterans are wold changers. Men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces may one day be teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, congressmen, or even the president. The future is built upon the actions they take today and nourished by the leaders they become tomorrow.
Every American depends on veterans, whether they realize it or not. Peace treaties, revolutionized techniques, and innumerable other accomplishments made by current and future soldiers are often built on foundations laid by the veterans that went before them. Veterans paved the pathway that carries us to our future. They earned freedom for the entire nation and deserve to be rightly credited with their accomplishments. The young people of the United States must now accept the challenge of listening to and learning from veterans, so that they can continue to influence our future and write our history. Sitting down and communicating with veterans has changed the way I look at my freedoms and the military that fights for them. By listening to their stories, I capture the rare occurrence of slipping through time and seeing a raw depiction of history. Veterans teach us who we are and who we an become, both as individuals and as a nation.
So, why are veterans important to our nation’s history and future? Because in every generation, despite the changing trends, lifestyles, and economy, veterans act as teachers, world changers, and a symbol of the American spirit.
-by Emily Messimore