This veterans day, I would like to honor those who served. Not because they traveled to war torn countries and protected the US from threatening forces by systematically eliminating the enemy, but because they were willing to risk so much for an ideal of homeland and freedom. What is appalling about this sacrifice, is that their patriotism was used as a foil by rich and powerful men to preserve their own wealth at the expense of those less fortunate.
Someday, peaceful missions will not entail the deployment of air and ground troops, but rather healers, teachers, engineers, and social workers who seek to mend the wounds of the world, not throw salt in them. Until then I urge you to serve as independent emissaries to the struggling families and individuals of far-flung corners of the earth, where little is known of mercy and hope has not been imagined for many, many years.