There is no mystery behind the endurance and the success of American liberty. It is because in every generation, from the Revolutionary period to this very hour, brave Americans have stepped forward and served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States. Every one of them deserves the thanks and the admiration of our entire country.
Military service demands a special kind of sacrifice. The places where you live and serve, the risk you face, the people you deal with every day — all of these are usually decided by someone else. For the time you spend in uniform, the interests of the nation must always come first. And those duties are shared by family members who make many sacrifices of their own, face separation during deployments and sometimes bear extreme and permanent loss.
Military service brings rewards as well. There is the pride of developing one’s character and becoming a leader, serving a cause far greater than any self interest and knowing that our nation’s cause is the hope of the world. Every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is part of a long, unbroken line of achievement and honor. No single military power in history has done greater good, shown greater courage, liberated more people, or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
That is a legacy to be proud of, and those who contributed to it must never be taken for granted.
VP Cheney 2008