This is how we stand up for our country, even though we can’t stand it anymore. We may be broken on the outside, but on the inside, we have more determination, than one could ever know. When we hear that call, the call of duty, we respond in a minute.
We may have prosthetic arms or legs or even be confined to a wheelchair, but when duty calls we will be there. This Veterans Day, November 11th, 2022, we will stand in the streets tall and proud, as military service men and women of all ages.
The parade will come down the main street, with high school bands and floats. Next to military vehicles of old in remembrance of days gone by, we’ll march down the street with pride and remembrance. Sidewalks will be lined with young and old soldiers standing and saluting as the procession goes by.
Little children on the sidewalks are too young to know, yet they will still stand there and wave their little U.S. flags in honor as we go by. The camaraderie of everyone in the parade is a feeling of unity like no other. We call each other “Brothers,” as it is a special bond that will never be broken.
At the grandstand where the Grand Marshal announces each unit as they pass, a little sadness will reign in. Because we know now only a few more yards and the parade will be over. But it is not the end, because we know we will all be back in our same spots next year.
We may have served in different branches: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Merchant Marines Coast Guard, and the fighting Seabees. Our names and faces may be different, but we all are the same.
Now, we even have different organizations of military stature: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America. They are different posts across the country; service organizations that keep us strong and fight for our benefits on our behalf. It’s a new camaraderie that keeps us engaged and helps us stay strong with unity. These VSOs (or veterans service organizations) help fellow veterans who need a little help. Whether it is finding a job or being retrained, they are there for us, as we are there for them.
We help each other to learn and grow and continue to stand up for our country, especially this Veteran’s Day. Even though we are in wheelchairs, ones that you can see, we see them no longer.
About the Author
Mark O. Rosensteel is the President of the Keystone Chapter at Paralyzed Veterans of America, serving Pennsylvania's Paralyzed Veterans. The Paralyzed Veterans of America, a Veteran Service Organization, was founded in 1946 and is dedicated to serving the needs of veterans who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. You can learn more about the Keystone Chapter by visiting the website!