A Veteran’s View
How does Veteran's Day make you feel?
by Successful Aging in Action! | 11.8.19
By: Dr. Roger Landry, MD, MPH
Veterans Day always brings mixed emotions for me. The memories can be intense, both positive and negative. But in the end, I feel proud and privileged to have such memories, and I’m all the better for it.
Most veterans will tell you that their time in service was among the most meaningful and rewarding in their lives. It doesn’t take much thought to understand why. We are human, and our distant ancestors struggled in a hostile world to survive. They did survive, and we are here today because they banded together and all worked for the common purpose of survival. This tendency (more of a need) to be socially connected to others and to work for a higher purpose is wired into our very DNA. When we’re doing it, whether it’s in a military situation, a sports team, volunteering for some worthy cause, we are better for it—better to our very core. And the research on aging tells us we are much more likely to have a better aging experience when we are engaged with others.
In many ways, my own life was defined by just a few years of being in a flying squadron, both in peace and in combat, with a small group of aviators experiencing life and death, gains and losses, off in a foreign country in the service of others. It marked me in ways I don’t fully understand, but I know for sure that it was a gift.
I serve in different ways now: with the magnificent Masterpiece Living Team, with the many residents and associates of the eighty-plus communities in the Masterpiece Living Network, and within the aging services profession. I work with them for the benefit of all, so that we and future generations can live lives that are full and meaningful, no matter what our age. Once again, I am privileged. Once again, I am proud.
*Originally printed in Masterpiece Living's November 2014 Mosaic.
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