In 1997 I joined the United State Air Force. I went through basic training and I served my country honorably for 8 years in total. I did 2 years as an active reservist and 6 in the individual ready reserve.
People call me a veteran, which technically speaking, I am. But then I think of those who have died serving our country. I think of those who have lost limbs due to explosions or other combat injuries. I think of those who are emotionally struggling to simply live a normal, everyday life.
When I think of those people, I can’t help but feel like an impostor for not doing more during my time in. As I write this now, I wonder if this is some form of survivor’s guilt that I feel? But most of the time I don’t feel that I deserve the same title as they carry given the difference in the sacrifices we made.
I guess the fact that I signed on the dotted line, I showed up and I raised my hand. Perhaps the fact that I was there, I wore the uniform, did the job, and accepted all the responsibility and risk that came with it. The fact that I was ready, willing and able to do any job required of me, maybe that grants me the right to be called a veteran?
Bronx Raised Puerto Rican who dances in pink tights! Please note the date on a post, over the years my views have evolved. I’ve kept my old articles to show my growth. I started on the left, then went slightly to the right, I went solo and then back to the left. It’s all about growth and progress. We live, we learn, we grow. Peace and love.