The Blank Check

Chartwell West

 “A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.”

That’s an unattributed quote that gets thrown around a lot this time of year-specifically this weekend.  It’s a thought that’s never quite squared with me, in the way something that makes you sound gloriously better than you are doesn’t.  I’m a veteran.  And when I signed up, I didn’t write any blank checks.  I signed up to do a job for a reason.  I did it because it was a good and honorable profession.  And because it paid for my college.  And I kept doing it because it paid me well, and took care of my family.  And when I couldn’t do it any more, I stopped. Or at least I tried.  But I couldn’t.  Because I…

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