We at OCLI count many vets among our valued patients and would like to acknowledge their service. What is it about our vets, we sometime wonder, that seems to inspire so much feeling? What is it about them that attracts our attention and finds us wanting them to know what they mean to us? Why do we tend to associate them with what many of us hold most dear? What do we stand to learn from their experience and sacrifice? What might they know about themselves that we sense but don’t generally know how to put into words? We think these are questions worthy of asking. Below is our best attempt at standing in our vets’ shoes and reflecting on these questions in a way that might provoke the kind of consideration and appreciation that does justice to the best in them, and perhaps as well, the best in us.
- We believe that at their best, veterans represent the noblest impulses in our humanity through their desire to selflessly serve something greater than themselves.
- We believe that at their best, vets exemplify the capacity to strategically adapt and skillfully respond to ever shifting and unpredictable conditions.
- We believe that at their best, vets powerfully demonstrate to us that it’s one thing to take a principled stand and another thing entirely to put your life on the line for it.
- We believe that at their best, vets teach us about brotherhood and sisterhood – what it means, and what it costs, to truly have somebody’s back.
- We believe that at their best, vets hold out the promise that we too can survive adversity and even thrive in the aftermath of grave misfortune.
- We believe that at their best, vets show us how courageously meeting fear and facing experiences far outside our comfort zone are the keys to developing resourcefulness, broadening our perspective, and being better human beings.
- We believe that at their best, vets understand perhaps better than anybody that it is just as important to deliberately live for freedom as it is to willingly die for it.
- We believe that at their best, vets recognize the value of life and are the some of the best stewards of it since they have often lived so close to death.
- We believe that at their best, vets symbolize to us the moral need for the strong to protect the weak – even at the risk of great danger or harm to themselves – and how this is the essence of true heroism.
- We believe that at their best, vets point us toward the untapped potential in ourselves, the potential that they have successfully unlocked through disciplined training and personal sacrifice.
- We at OCLI have always shown our appreciation for our vets. We have always provided an armed forces discount to all our vets who wish to undergo LASIK surgery!
We at OCLI thank our vets for their service and hope you will as well. We encourage you to sit down and talk with the vets in your life to better understand and appreciate their experience and see what you can learn from them, or to consider donating your time or money (or both) to one of the many charities that focus exclusively on helping vets and their families. Among our favorites are Homefront Hearts, Celebrating Our Veterans, Inc., Troopers Assisting Troops, Adopt a Soldier, or Veterans for Peace.
Happy Veterans’ Day!