What is a veteran? Students give their anwsers

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Veterans are heart, soul of country



Veterans are the heart and soul of our country. Whether it’s the Marines, Air Force, Army, Navy or Coast Guard, they’re all veterans. They’re what make our country free, and freedom is not free. As a patriot, Thomas Paine said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and that my friend is the great U.S.A.

The definition of a veteran is someone who is experienced in an activity. We have to grateful to our veterans we have had, the ones we have and the ones we will have. Our veterans are experienced in serving our country; they’re willing to give their lives to protect our right. They sacrifice time with their loving families so we can spend time with ours. Our country is the best country in the world, because of our veterans.

Veterans are important to me because they give me the chance to be what I want to. Veterans are heroes to me and all of us. They fight for our freedom. Every time we raise an American flag, we are honoring veterans, they’re the reason we can raise the flag. I’m so thankful for every veteran. I’m so proud to be the granddaughter, great granddaughter and the great great granddaughter of a veteran.
I’m proud to be an American, in a place I know I’m free. There are a lot of superheroes out there, but the real heroes are our veterans.
Kelsey Dickerson
Dry Ridge Elementary, Fifth grade

Veterans lead by example

We all know veterans. They are featured on the news, written about in newspapers, and many we know personally. They have served in different wars; from World War II to those currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.  However, they have one commonality; they are heroes, both abroad and when returning home.
Take the story of John Gallina and Dale Beatty, best friends from North Carolina who nearly died when their Humvee was blown up. Dale lost both of his legs and John suffered from traumatic brain injury. The injuries they sustained did not define their future. When a local homebuilders association offered to build Dale a home, both men helped out. They both developed a passion for the work and decided to start Purple Heart Homes building houses for other handicapped veterans.
This is what the new greatest generation is all about; servicemen and women returning from war to play a significant role in communities across the country. Veterans today are returning to life that is different from veterans before.  They are living in a time where technology is flourishing and the economy is global.  However, they are using their sharp skills, learned in battle, to advance in their careers, run for office, and further their education to continue making a difference and serve their country on American soil.
The new greatest generation is how our veterans use their skill set to make America stronger. Many veterans do not stop their service when they are called back from war. They have standards that every American should insist on having as their own. Thank you to our veterans who continue to lead by example and help make America strong.
Carly Middleton
Williamstown High School,


What is a veteran?

According to the New International Webster’s Standard Dictionary, a veteran is defined as “someone long experienced, as in the military or an occupation;” but I think a veteran really is someone who fought for our freedom and the rights we enjoy everyday.
How much courage does it take to die for America? How much bravery does it require to go to war for the freedom of Americans? Veterans Day is a day to honor those who sacrificed so much for all Americans, past, present and future. Veterans Day is a day to honor bravery, celebrate courage, remember the fallen and thank veteran for their loyal service to America.
Throughout history every country has had veterans who has served their military while defending their homelands in times of peace and war. Some veterans are ‘drafted’ or forced to serve in the military, but today in our country, our services are filled with people who have volunteered.
Some veterans retire from the service without ever seeing a day of warfare. Those same veterans are just as important though, because by “being read” it keeps aggressive countries from attacking us.
Veterans have almost always been honored and celebrated when they returned to their hometowns after war or peacetime service. I feel like every soldier, active or retired, should be recognized for the commitments they’ve made and continue to make each and every day. Sadly, many of these honorable veterans have gone to their graves without ever receiving an honor or the gratitude they deserved.
In America today, there is a renewed spirit of respect and honor given to all our veterans returning home. To me the easiest answer to “why do we honor veterans” is to simply remember what a veteran is . . . and the question seems to answer itself.
Quinton Carr
Dry Ridge Elementary, Fifth grader

Who is your hero?

I’ve been asked by a child, more than once, who my favorite superhero is. The answers they think range from the amazing Spider Man to the Incredible Hulk and everything in between. However, that wouldn’t be my answer. A superhero is not the Marvel characters. No they aren’t fiction. They are real, breathe the same air as us and walk past us almost everyday. They are our American soldiers. It is their brave souls that fight for us; their caring nature that makes them want to do the unthinkable for our nation. It’s their selflessness that won our freedom and reserved it just for us.
Saying our soldiers are brave is an understatement. Thucydides once said, “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.” Thucydides was saying these men and women alike are truly the definition of brave. For us, they pack up some small things and travel all over the world, away from their family and friends, to fight for our rights and freedom. These American soldiers take a huge risk and make sacrifices to give is what we all take for granted, freedom. They watch people be killed, people they knew, people who had families and had parents waiting at home for their child to return unharmed. Nothing can be more horrible than having to go through the nightmares that later come making our soldiers relive those moments. They did though, for us.
Think back to George Washington, one of our founding fathers. I can honestly say he is proud of every person who fought and is fighting, to keep what he struggled to give this nation. All the wars we have gone through and the sweat that was poured to push through it is nothing less than life itself. Nothing can compare to the care they have for us to go through so much pain. Every branch of the military is faced with so many doubts and decisions.
Am I going to make it home? How much longer till the war ends? Who is going to win? Should I go that way or the other way? Which is safer? Not many people possess that kind of care and strength to go through war for people all around the world.
Have you ever had to decide to do what you want or listen to what your parents told you? Soldiers have to do this but their choices are much different. Should I run to safety or follow orders and defend what is ours? Being the selfless people our military is made of, they never ran. How many of us could stand up and honorably say that we would do the same? It’s hard to imagine what these men and women go through and some of us probably don’t know why. However, our nation’s heroes know first-hand and understand the reasons for all this fighting, pain and determination. It’s all for our freedom.
If you go to the base of everything soldiers do, it begins with us. You have to recognize that maybe soldiers don’t have mystical powers but are the true heroes. So the next time a child comes up to you, with their Spider Man lunch bag and big eyes, asking who your hero is. I hope you get down to their level and tell them that the true heroes are our American soldiers.
Alex Brock
GCMS, Eighth grader