Happy Veteran’s Day to all who served, and to the family members who have stood beside veterans in support of their service.

One of the most inspiring things about working in the military health system has been seeing people serve courageously in uniform, be transformed by difficult experiences, and then find new ways to serve after leaving the uniform behind. This work has increased my own faith in the world, even as I get some difficult, close-up, not-in-textbooks, uncomfortable lessons about what it means to be an American–what it means to be a civilian in a country at war.

I couldn’t begin to list all the incredible people I met during challenging times in their lives who are now publishing writing, building community, raising families, educating the next generation, exhibiting art work, entering public service, leading non-profit organizations, and standing up for what’s right every single day, right here at home. 

Last month at the Bush Institute, a colleague and fellow scholar really surprised me with how little I can ever know about the ripple effects of service. Read his story here, and be prepared to shed some tears. Don’t give up.

Thank you for your service in uniform, and thank you for continuing your service beyond the uniform. For holding all you hold, and for sharing your stories and your strength. 

With love, gratitude, and admiration,