Reflecting On The Meaning Of Veteran's Day

This week we all need to pay tribute to all of the men and woman in uniform past and present who have given so much to America in their service.

Veterans have risked so much including their lives to protect America and our freedom. In honor of Veteran’s Day, I would like to share the personal reflections of two Veterans who are very special to me—my father, Bill Woodis, and my good friend, Charlie Brens.

Bill Woodis

Every Veteran’s Day I am shocked by how many people still appreciate the sacrifices that veterans have made over the years. It’s heartening to know how many people still remember the veterans that served. Veteran’s Day is also a time for me to reminisce about my time in the service, and remember the many friends I made. Some of my friends served in World War II, but most, like me, served in Korea. I served in Korea from September 1952 until July 1953 as an officer in the Field Artillery. Unfortunately, many of my closest friends did not survive the Korean War. Many more have died since then from natural causes, but I still think of them frequently, particularly on Veterans Day.

Charlie Brens

I am a veteran. I served in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1970. While this was during the Vietnam War, I served a year in Texas at a Naval Auxiliary Air Station and the remaining three years of my enlistment working for the Admiral of the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. I was more removed from the action than most American soldiers and never gave war too much thought beyond a general understanding that war has its impact on many people in many ways.

I am now a Yoga Nidra teacher, and through the quirks of fate, I volunteered my services to the local VA hospital a few months ago—services they graciously accepted. Now every Saturday I go to the Denver VA hospital and meet with the Department of Mental Health inpatients. I now see the war through different eyes. These men and women, ranging in age from their early 20s to their early 80s, whose lives have been severely impacted in ways that most of us will never understand. It has been very humbling for me. As soon as I mention that I’m a veteran, there is an immediate and visible response that says to me “This guy’s OK. He’s one of us.” I had forgotten what that was like.

If you know a veteran, thank them. And if you’re a veteran, I thank you.

Constance Woodis

Business Center Manager