CNN commentator and TV host Marc Lamont Hill put a message on Twitter and Instagram this morning saying Happy Veterans Day.” The problem was his accompanying photo was a picture of Cuban soldiers. Hill said he realized he’d made a mistake and deleted the posts after plenty of criticism. But was it really just a mistake?

Hill tweeted to The Blaze:

The revisionist explaining is dizzying!

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US Air Force

Today is Veterans Day. To a lot of us, it means no school, lots of doorbuster sales and, hopefully, a day off of work. The meaning of Veterans Day can be of little insight to those who have no family members or friends who have served time in the service. But, those who do may see the importance of today a little clearer.

We have supported our loved ones through their times of self-sacrifice and loyalty, as well as the most demanding, dangerous, terrifying and noble times. Their acts of valor trickle into their civilian lives, and we dedicate this day to them.

Today takes us away from our daily protests and brings into focus whom we should thank for all of our freedom.

In honor of the veterans, with a very special recognition to my father and brother who sacrificed their years and served proudly in the US Army, here are five valuable lessons only a strong-willed veteran can teach us civilians about life:

The 3 D’s: determination, discipline and dedication

There are few, if any, jobs in which ability alone is sufficient.

Those words, spoken by William B. Given Jr., help emphasize the need for the three D’s for a successful life.

To be determined is to know you are capable of doing the task at hand. Regardless of a soldier’s insecurity, he or she is determined to be of value and of service to America.

Regardless of the pain, sweat and tears that come to a soldier in order to serve and survive in the harshest circumstances, discipline is what drives him or her forward.

Lastly, dedication is what gives meaning to the reason solders do what they vowed to do. A soldier is dedicated to serving his or her country through thick and thin; a soldier is dedicated to freedom. With the three D’s, your journey through wherever you have found yourself becomes more meaningful and successful.

Work as a team.

There have been many circumstances in which, in order to suffice and sometimes live, soldiers have had to appreciate diversity and assemble a team of very diverse individuals.

They have gone through very traumatic and life-changing experiences together, which has taught them the importance of a team. When it comes to life-and-death situations, external issues take the backburner, and people must come together to accomplish whatever needs to be done.

Team work is a building block to a successful life in the professional, personal or educational level.

Learn to work under stress.

A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for an amount up to and including his or her life.

Imagine the stresses of a battlefield and making quick decisions with incomplete information with enemies at every corner hunting for a quick victory. There is no time to stress over these life or death situations.

Soldiers learn to analyze, plan for the best result and execute it. Take this lesson into your daily life when you are up to your ears in debt, or when you feel there’s not enough time in the day to finish your work. It could be worse; stop agonizing over it and make a plan.

The value of our freedom

Not everyone in this world has the luxury of living without fear. Imagine the fear and anguish people feel where bombs are flying overhead, close to their homes.

Or, how about the countries in which the desire for education is reprimanded and confiscated from those who seek it?

There are people out there who don’t have the right to make the simple decisions we take for granted and make for ourselves. We overlook our blessings as Americans, sometimes, and hearing it from a veteran is the most valuable wake-up call.

Veterans sacrifice everything to ensure our country continues to be “The Land of the Free.”

Embrace change; it’s not the worst thing in the world.

Change is inevitable in the military world; vets learn to cope with it and learn from it.

Embrace change, even if it is outside of your comfort zone. The most successful people have learned to overcome this obstacle and actually use it to their advantage.

Soldiers are constantly learning to cope with change of plan in missions. Instead of obsessing over change and trying to resist it, they learn how to change gears quickly and respond to change in an effective way.

We will all face drastic change throughout our entire lives. The way we respond to change is what makes the difference.

Appreciate your life and where you are now.

The hardest part in a soldier’s life is leaving his or her life and family behind to do what he or she vowed to do as part of the US military. Soldiers have left behind unborn babies, unfinished business, responsibilities and spouses to protect and serve our country.

Some will return; others will not. That dire uncertainty fills the air with uncertainty and sadness for their families.

The best thing you can learn from a veteran is to appreciate where you are at this moment in life. You have the ability to determine where life takes you. Most of that freedom wouldn’t be ours if it wasn’t for the men and women who devote their lives to make America what it is.

All of the above lessons come from the men and women I have met who have taught me how precious life is and how important it is to handle things in the most positive and effective way.

I’ve listened to their stories, followed their pictures on social media and seen what they left behind to fight. I’ve been inspired to live my life with the mindset of a soldier, a marine, an airmen or a seaman. This day is for you; we salute you for your bravery, your perseverance and your passion for our country.

Again, a very special “thank you” is due to my own father and brother who devoted many years of their lives to the US Army. You are my heroes, and I thank you for all you have done for this country.

Happy Veterans Day!

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Today, November 11th, is Veterans Day. It’s the the day we set aside as a country to honor those who gave everything so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have in the United States. Although as Americans we tend to have our differences, this is one of those areas that unite us as a nation. So, if you know any veterans don’t forget to say thank you and enjoy our list of 25 reasons to honor our Veterans.

25. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave” – Elmer Davis

24. “But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.” -Thomas Dunn English

23. “Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers.” -Aristotle

22. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” -Cynthia Ozick

21. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John F. Kennedy

20. “Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

19. “America’s veterans embody the ideals upon which America was founded more than 229 years ago.” – Steve Buyer

18. “Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.” -George Bernard Shaw

17. “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower

16. “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” -George S. Patton

15. “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” -Omar Bradley

14. “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

13. “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower

12. “Heroism is endurance for one moment more.” – George F. Kennan

11. “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” – Thomas Jefferson

10. But fame is theirs – and future days On pillar’d brass shall tell their praise; Shall tell – when cold neglect is dead – “These for their country fought and bled.” – Philip Freneau

9. “When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?” – George Canning

8. “Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul” – Michael de Montaigne

7. “In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” – Mark Twain

6. “More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.” – Unknown

5. “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” – G.K. Chesterton

4. “It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.” – Unknown

3. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

2. “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”- Jose Narosky

1. “I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.” – Gary Hart

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Story Of Only Soldier To Survive From His Team Will Break Your Heart

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Williams and the eleven soldiers in his team were on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq in the summer of 2005 when tragedy struck. By complete chance, Lance was told to move to another vehicle before taking off. 

Only a short time later, a powerful explosion shook the ground. The truck holding his entire team was completely destroyed. Now, he must deal with being the only survivor of his crew everyday. 

Story Corps honored Lance and his team this Veterans Day in this emotional short animated film.


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