On this Veterans’ Day, I heard the statistic that 1% of this country’s population is either active or reserve military personnel. Of course, retired veterans make that figure higher, but there are over 3 million people who are ready to serve this country in battle. There are other ways people can work for this country, but the military is the only service that one voluntarily gives up the freedom of self-determination for their term.
We hear a lot about 1% vs. 99% these days. A supposedly monolithic group of people is using the labor of the general population to enrich themselves. What we also have is a group of 1% of the population tasked with the protection of this country. They serve not only the 99% not currently serving, but also their own ranks.
We can carve out 1% of the public in any way we choose. There are the 1% richest. There are the 1% most powerful. There are the 1% most intelligent. The 1% in the military is deserving of distinction. They sacrifice in a way many of us don’t have to. Many of them sacrifice their lives. They are the 1% who may not be better than us, but they are the best of us.