As I write this, it’s mid-afternoon on Veterans Day. It’s also one of those rare moments when I actually reminisce about my time in the U.S. Air force – more than eight years, actually – and whether I made a difference.

Oh, I’m no martyr. I know my time in the service had meaning: for the country, the Air Force, and for me personally, of course. You see, I was a medic during the Vietnam War era. I never served overseas, you understand, unless you count Alaska as “overseas” (which the military does, actually), but I spent a lot of long days and nights helping take care of those extraordinary women and men who did serve in combat roles in southeast Asia.

On a personal note, my two children were born in military hospitals, my daughter in an Air Force hospital in Alaska, my son in a U.S. Army hospital in San Antonio. And as a medic, I spent more than 90 percent of my working time in Air Force hospitals and clinics, where I learned two things: 

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