Dignity and integrity – are two big words, loaded with meaning, that go hand in hand together. Integrity validates oneself; it’s feeling that what you’ve done and are doing now is right and proper, that other thinking people in the same circumstances would act the same way and both you and them would not hide your actions or be hesitant to explain why you’ve made the choices you did. Nothing to hide, no reason to cover up or deny. What you did could stand the light of day and doesn’t need to be buried or hidden under a rock. You are dignified by your actions.
Many of you served our Country, pledged your very lives to defend our Constitution, and have lost friends or family as a consequence. You’ve done this with dignity and integrity. There are others who may have questioned a particular engagement, seeing things from a different vantage or dis-advantage point. But most would agree in a moment free from emotion that a country needs its Armed Forces and that there should be one Commander in Chief giving the orders. You volunteered or were drafted and then you did your best – with dignity and integrity. Congratulations!
But we’re all back here now, veterans and civilians, trying to get on in life. As a vet, you’re used to discipline, on the line all the time. That carries over. You’re still trying your best to act with integrity and dignity. But you look around, and unfortunately, it seems as if too many civilians don’t give a rat’s ass about others. They’re in it for themselves – shady deals and special treatment, big bucks received and avoided taxes.
That’s tough to reconcile with the “hard work is its own reward” most of us learned as kids. A lot of flack coming in at us all the time in the news. Some of the shit out there can knock us down and put us into a depressed nosedive. We have to be our own medic, knowing that friends will always be there to help. We’ve our integrity and dignity to clean the wounds and tie on the bandages and can confidently stand up, knowing that justice must eventually prevail.
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at email@example.com.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.
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