This Veteran's Day, I'd like to thank my husband. Not only for his service, but for what he's taught me since then. Before Mr. PW, I thought that everyone in the military was the same - right wing, fundamentalist Christian nutcases with racist views against brown people. After Mr. PW, I've met enough veterans to realize that that view was incredibly sheltered and naive - the kinds of people in the military are as varied as the kinds of people in the civilian world. There are indeed some of the people as described above (just like there are in my office), but there's plenty of people with the opposite views, and plenty of people who fall somewhere in between - and all of them are just doing the best they can under very stressful circumstances.
Also, in the past couple of years we've become immersed in veterans' issues, specifically the special issues that Vietnam Veterans face, and it's become something I feel deeply about. The fact that we may see the same - and worse - happen with our Iraq and Afghanistan vets is something that seems unavoidable yet wholly preventable.
I hope you'll take the time to get to know a vet in your community. They're good people, with strong hearts. My vet certainly is.