Honor, courage, commitment, service, devotion: These are words used in one or more of our U.S. military core values or their descriptions. But one word is mentioned in all of them – respect. As Veterans, we lived these values for a time in our lives.

Today, they are the cornerstones upon which many of us continue to live our lives long after our military service has ended. For many of us, our drive to continually care for this nation, our fellow Veterans and the citizens in the community around us never ends.

Sept. 18 is National Respect Day in the United States. As children we were taught to respect our parents and teachers, rules we lived under, our country and more. As Veterans, we were taught to respect the authorities above us, regulations, our fellow service members and the flag and Constitution we served.

Treating others the way we want to be treated

Today, the word has the same meaning you might find in a dictionary, but it has expanded in scope beyond the admiration and recognition of someone’s position, abilities or qualities.

Respect for someone is a first step and begins before you know anything about that person next to you. It means we treat others the way we want to be treated. Respect is acting when others are mistreated verbally or physically. We will meet people throughout our lives that we may not agree with or like for a variety of reasons. That’s okay. But respect is letting that person be who they are without reproach.

As Veterans, we continue to be a group of people who most other Americans look up to without knowing anything about us. All they know is that we put it all on the line for them. As Veterans on National Respect Day and beyond, let’s make sure that the people around us know that we still do.

Free online training for a healthy environment

To help with this, VA offers Bystander Intervention Training for Veterans, which provides us with the tools to stand up for others. The training increases your confidence to recognize and respond when witnessing harassment and will equip you with the knowledge and skills to prevent those situations from getting worse.

This free, online training is an opportunity for Veterans to learn ways where they can contribute to a healthy and safe environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

By Gerald Sonnenberg

Air Force Veteran and senior marketing and communication specialist, VA Employee Education System

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Published on Sep. 18, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 360

4 Comments

  1. Darrell September 19, 2022 at 3:54 am - Reply

    If were only true.
    You own say it you want do anything even when the disrespect causes injury and the doctor admits being wrong…

    Brain injury and seizures tournament and disenfranchisement….

    Oscar g johnson

    I argued the 3 weeks about something and then 3 weeks later it almost killed me and I was right…….
    Multiple occurrences of this…… 37 years gross negligence and unsympathetic no treanent for brain damage caused by va doctor that admitted mistakes……

    Nope respect is zero when you mention those three letters….

  2. Jamie September 18, 2022 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Gotta have RESPECT!

  3. Sean Collins September 18, 2022 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    The training for Veterans was a great idea. I got my certificate!

  4. SFC(R) Noble September 18, 2022 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Respect has a multidirectional flow. Meaning as respect is given from one it should also be given in return. As a veteran, I would expect respect given to me as I give it to others. It is when the respect is not given from others that I have a problem with the others lack of respect.

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