Veterans today are imbued with a tremendous amount of trust and good will in this country. That trust was built on the backs of generations of veterans that endured harder times, and less happy homecomings. Their sacrifice is not lost on veterans who, like me, transitioned out of the military during a time when we were embraced by a grateful nation. As we see the social capital of veterans rising, we have an obligation to leverage our status for good, and for change. We owe that to the millions of veterans who came before us, and on whose great shoulders we now stand.

We live in a painfully divided country. As we continue to adjust to the changes in our society that come with progress, growth and technology, we find ourselves moving past one another without connecting. It’s hard, at times, to find places where we can all agree. But, this year on Veterans Day, we highlight and honor the legacy of all veterans who have served in our Armed Forces—and on that, we can agree.

As I look across the country today, I see thousands of veterans who are leading efforts of social change in our country, and I’m proud—more than ever—to be among them. In more than 50 cities across the nation, veterans will come together this week to take action in their communities, to advocate on behalf of those who are most at risk, and to leverage their tremendous social capital for the greater good.

 

We do owe our military veterans a great deal. We owe them an opportunity to lead, to take on tough challenges, and to bring us together. Each of us raised our right hands and vowed to fight for the highest ideals of this country, and we continue that fight here at home, long after we’ve removed our military uniforms. Surely that is something upon which we can all agree.

Mary Beth Bruggeman is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the president of The Mission Continues. Follow her on Twitter & LinkedIn.