by Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Kula
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
DALLAS--The U.S. Army, which I have proudly served in for more than 30 years, has a saying: “Once a Soldier, a Soldier for Life.” This concept is shared across all our military services. Those who have served, whether a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, will always be part of that great community of men and women who have put on a uniform and served this Nation.
On a broader scale, our soldiers are also part of the noble American tradition of citizen soldiers who embody the will of the people directly because they are the people. Americans who serve in our military come from our local communities and return to their families in these local communities when their service has ended. Sadly, because of the nature of war, some return injured. We call these our Wounded Warriors, and to these all Americans owe a special debt of gratitude—though, when you meet a Wounded Warrior, you will see that gratitude is not what they seek. They seek new beginnings and opportunities to transition to a productive and fulfilling civilian life.