By Tito A. Cortez
Veterans, my brothers, and sisters, often wonder why I always wear my Veteran hat.
My brother Don, who is a Vietnam War Disabled Veteran with the United States Navy, told me he doesn't want to wear any Veteran hat because he doesn't want to be recognized as a Veteran. My other brother George, on the other hand, who is a peace-time Veteran, doesn't wear his Veteran hat because as he said, "I didn't do nothing."
The biggest generation ever to fight the War, our WWII Veterans. love to wear their hat. My Filipino WW II Veteran brother said he loves wearing his Veteran hat because as he stated, "I am proud to have fought for our freedom."
Well, I love wearing my Vietnam War Veteran Hat because I am proud of having served our country and I am not ashamed of having served in Vietnam with the United States Army.
In fact, I'm not ashamed to tell my brothers and sisters that as unpopular as it was, I volunteered and joined the Army during the Vietnam War. And to show you how proud I am, I own over 20 Vietnam Veteran hats I have collected over the years.
According to the VA Profile of Veterans: 2014, there are 19,386,589 (231,986,987 non-Veterans) Veterans, who served in our Armed Forces. Wouldn't it be awesome, when at any given day, at any given time, you meet an individual who is wearing a WWII Veteran Hat, Korean War Hat, Vietnam War Hat, US Army, US Navy, USMC, Coast Guard, Air Force, Iraq Veteran, Afghanistan Veteran, Gulf War Veteran etc...
Imagine, we will be visible and wouldn't it be nice to know there are many of us who were willing to sacrifice our lives so others can enjoy our freedom.
So, my brothers and sisters, the next time you are wearing a sports hat or a team hat or whatever, how about changing it to a Veteran's hat and be proud of what you are--a Veteran who was willing to sacrifice everything because what is the use of living without our freedom.
But according to my brother, Frank, who is also a Vietnam War Disabled Veteran with the US Army, it is our choice as to whether or not we want to wear our Veteran hat. After all, he said, "we served to preserve one of our most precious freedoms-- our freedom of choice".