How Men Can Appreciate Veterans

There are many people who think that men shouldn’t be looking for ways to appreciate women. However, just because it’s a stereotype doesn’t mean there isn’t something out there on how we can better show our appreciation of the brave and honorable soldiers fighting overseas in battle or those returning from deployment.

The “words to honor veterans” is a list of words that can be used to describe veterans. They are: brave, honorable, selfless, noble, and courageous.

Easy company band of brothers group photo from wwii.

Something is the best way to remember what you don’t know? How do you value something you haven’t had the opportunity to experience?

I relocated to Los Angeles a few years ago to start a graduate degree. Because all of the university’s on-campus accommodation was taken, the only place I could find to rent was in the house of my advisor’s father, Nate Miller, a World War II veteran.

Nate’s wife had just died, so his son reasoned that he may benefit from companionship. Nate had remained in the same cottage in Buena Park since the war, had two boys, and led a peaceful life since his service in the military. With the exception of a sprinkling of high school history, I knew very nothing about World Conflict II or the experiences of its soldiers, or about the experiences of veterans from any war. As a veteran’s flatmate, I was uninformed about what would happen next, as did practically everyone of my age.

Nate had a large russet Doberman called Diana that ran riot on the front yard. I commented to my new landlord one day that it may be a good idea to have the things cleaned up every now and again. “Aw, that’s nothing,” Nate said. “You should see a Kraut’s helmet on the ground with his brains still inside.”

Nate kept a loaded handgun under his pillow at night or under his chair cushion during the day. “If you come home late, make sure you holler so I know it’s you,” he advised. I’m afraid I’m going to blast a hole in your stomach.” Nate would fall asleep in front of the television most nights. The only entrance inside the home was via the front door, which was conveniently located near the television. When I got home, I had a choice to make: should I scream and wake the old guy, or should I let him sleep and risk a bullet?

Nate talked in monologues, frequently telling the same tales again and over. The majority were raunchy yarns appropriate for the pool rooms he frequented. However, one anecdote stood out from the rest: Late 1944, he was fighting in Hurtgen Forest. It was winter, very cold, and there was blood on the ground as well as intense artillery opposition. Nate said that the forest was so ripe with lead that he couldn’t even chop down a tree for fuel because he’d shatter his saw.

During a brief respite from the conflict, a group of the world’s fiercest troops brushed snow off fallen logs, and a priest talked to the guys. “I saw a number of gorgeous churches while in Europe—huge cathedrals—but it was by far the nicest church I ever been to,” Nate said, no matter how many times he told the tale.

Nate stated it with seriousness, not to criticize cathedrals, but to emphasize the moment’s gravitas. Nate was a respectful guy, despite his gruff edges. He was devoted to his homeland. He cherished his independence. This guy was more than his outward appearance.

Gratitude training

My agency called me about a book idea a while back. Lieutenant Buck Compton, a founding member of the Band of Brothers, wanted to write his memoirs. I consented to the assignment right away, then pondered what I had done at a calmer time. I only learned about veterans because I rented a room from Nate Miller for a semester.


Surprisingly, when work on Lieutenant Compton’s book started, I felt that my ignorance infused the writing with life. I had to ask Buck everything since I didn’t know anything. What exactly is a regiment? Why are Silver Stars given out? What distinguishes a Thompson from an M-1? Buck was a patient man. He’d glance at me, occasionally perplexed by my queries, but always eager to explain.

As I worked, I noticed that I was seeing the world through the eyes of a veteran.

A new sense of self-determination arose. If the guys of Easy Company could go up and down Mt. Currahee every day while training at Camp Toccoa, I’m sure I could go for my daily jog without grumbling as much as I usually do.

Challenges were seen in a new light. I went to a car auction in December and waited in the snow for two hours while each vehicle was brought to the block. I told myself that I wasn’t fighting in Bastogne with my feet wrapped in burlap sacks as I stamped my feet to remain warm.

Soldiers became men to me who were prepared to give their life for the benefit of others. They fight for themselves and the generation that is now being attacked, but they also fight for the futures of free peoples. I was one of many who profited decades after WWII. The fact that I can vote in presidential elections without kowtowing to Hirohito’s grandson is a credit to veterans’ tireless efforts. The fact that I can make a life writing novels rather than laboring in a Third Reich factory is a result of Allied victory.

What is my generation’s hope? We’d probably all confess to being a little sloppy with our patriotism as a group. Many people see Memorial Day as little more than a nice excuse to have a BBQ. But I wish we could see the freedom we’ve been given for the first time. I wish we read books on soldiers, watched war movies, spoke to veterans, and rented rooms from them. I hope we could all pray that future generations would never be forced to make the same sacrifices as those who sacrificed everything for freedom did.

And I hope we could spend our lives like people who have been blessed. That’s what troops like Nate Miller and Buck Compton, as well as all veterans who have fought and died in the sake of liberty, have taught me. They’ve given a lot so that we might live for what really counts.

Listen to Marcus on our podcast:


Listen to Marcus on our podcast:

Mr. Brotherton and Lt. Buck Compton are the co-authors of Call of Duty. We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers, his most recent book, relates the tales of 20 surviving members of Easy Co.



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“What to write to a veteran on a card” is the question that many people ask themselves. In this article, I will give you some ideas of what to say. Reference: what to write to a veteran on a card.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we appreciate veterans?

A: By thanking them, respecting their service, and remembering the sacrifices they made.

What are 3 ways to thank a veteran?

A: A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces or national guard. There are many ways to show your thanks for these people, including a call-in day at work and gifts of time or money.

How do you express gratitude to veterans?

A: I think it would be best to find a veteran and thank them personally.

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