The Importance Of Military Service

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Soldiers like Greg Terpstra often say, “It has been my privilege and honor to serve our country,” but why? To understand why military veterans reflect on their service in such a positive way, it is necessary to understand who they are and what made them this way. Greg Terpstra, an Iraqi war veteran, started as a private, became a green beret physician, switched to the officer side, got promoted to a Colonel, and later retired. To understand why he appreciates his service, it is important to know why he wanted to enlist in the military, what he did during his service, and how his service impacted who he is today. First, it's necessary to know why Greg enlisted when understanding why he values his service because knowing the motivation behind…show more content…
Greg summarizes his military experience by saying, “During that time I was an enlisted man, [I] beg[an] as a private, and r[ose] to the rank of sergeant. I terminated my service with the Army in 1969. I rejoined the Army as a physician assistant warrant officer in 1982, beginning as a warrant officer 1, and rising to chief warrant officer 3. At that time I became a physician, and my rank was a captain. As the years went by, I became a major, then Lt. Col., and then a Colonel. It is most unusual for an individual to begin his or her service as a private, and then rising to the rank of Colonel.” Because of Greg’s unusual rise in military rankings, it is possible to assume that he learned quality leadership skills and developed strong military friendships, as without those he would have never received a promotion. Unfortunately for many other soldiers, their service may affect them more negatively, as Fox writes, “While the psychological health consequences of the Vietnam war are still being suffered by veterans, in more recent years veterans returning from contemporary war zones, including Bougainville, Cambodia, East Timor, Aceh, Iraq and Afghanistan are demonstrating the same psychological costs of warfare.” These soldiers are most likely more involved in direct combat and saw the horrors of war firsthand. While Greg may or may not have been a part of the

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