Texas City and the Texas City Rotary Club will hold its annual event honoring our veterans at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Rotary Pavilion in Nessler Park, 2010 Fifth Ave. N., in Texas City.

This event is for all of us to honor all of our veterans. Certainly, our veterans of foreign wars and all veterans that served in harm’s way are our real heroes. However, a veteran is anyone that served in the armed forces (wore a uniform). Many of us served behind the lines, in administrative positions and reserves; all necessary to wage war and protect our country.

All veterans were trained the same way (to fight with weapons, and be ready if called) no matter how we ultimately served. Also, those who served to support our veterans: spouses, parents, siblings, kinfolks, friends and those working in government related jobs deserve our honor, and, at this event, you too will be honored, so please come.

Most of us kind of take for granted this veteran deal. I mean, we certainly appreciate and honor veterans, but we probably don’t understand how a veteran is different from a non-veteran. Basically, all veterans start out the same by joining up, suffering boot camp and then accepting some assignment.

This boot camp thing however, is special and basically separates us from the rest of the population. This training and then being a member of a service makes for a group of individuals that live and operate almost as a different society.

Service men and women respect laws, respect leaders, take legal orders willingly, choose not to harm others, stand tall in the face of danger and generally go about day-to-day activities as one would wish all societies would do. They’re just good people acting respectively with normally expected integrity. And when they leave their respective armed services, most retain this “acting respectively with integrity” way of conducting their lives. I did, and I still do.

Life on a military base is different. You don’t see trash on the streets. Buildings aren’t rundown or falling apart. Equipment and weapons are maintained and tested regularly. Service men and women are clean and dressed appropriately.

You can feel the respect and integrity in the air; really. You feel safe. You feel friendly. You feel secure. And no doubt you wish you were home, but in many ways, for many, this is as good as, or better, than home.

Although, I know we can’t do it, and we don’t want to force everybody but wouldn’t it be great if everyone had this training before embarking on everyday acts of leadership and civil living; another reason to hold our veterans special and honor them.

Please excuse my politics, but I can’t help but believe we could do better if more of our government leadership individuals came from our veteran pool.

Harvey Cappel is a former Marine and lives in Texas City.

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