The second point in the Soldiers Code states that “I will treat others with dignity and respect. And expect others to do the same.” However, these soldiers put their lives on the line, and there is nothing we could ever do to repay them.

Along with that, we as a country do not take advantage of the things we could help our troops with. Their time and work are ignored and looked past. Even years after serving they are not recognized for their accomplishments. These men and women may even suffer from mental illnesses, injuries and no financial aid. These hard working people deserve more recognition and respect than they receive.

To begin, the U.S. military rarely gets positive attention for their deeds. When searching for military news online, the first results are stories of tragedies. We don’t hear of the successes that they achieve, we hear of losses that they endure.

James Fallow for The Atlantic says, “This reverent but disengaged attitude toward the military — we love the troops, but we’d rather not think about them — has become so familiar that we assume it is the American norm.”

Our troops are constantly hard at work while the rest of us enjoy our day to day lives. Because of the U.S. military, there is not a day that goes by where we have to worry about our country's safety. This deserves continuous thank you’s and unwavering respect. I believe that the media should show the positive things that our military is doing for us on the daily.

In addition, they are forced to leave their families for months at a time to serve our country. They have dedicated their lives to protect people they have never met. By doing this, they send themselves into dangerous situations.

Families across the country are split apart and children are raised without knowing their parents. No matter how much we thank the military we cannot assist them in seeing their families. This is an act that can never be repaid.

Missed time with loved ones hurts worse than any physical pain. It is unbelievably hard for these parents and partners to put their job before their families. This deserves the utmost respect for the soldiers and their families.

Reaching out to military households for extra support can go further than you think. Making them feel welcome in new communities, offering friends to surround themselves with, and giving them an additional family are just a few examples of how to create a loving and respectful neighborhood.

Along with this, after coming home they may suffer trauma. This can differ from physical pain to mental illnesses. Many of our veterans do not get the proper health care they deserve.

Some of these heroes may even end up on the streets. Nevertheless, a large number of veterans get health benefits through VA health care. However, to receive Military Health Insurance, a veteran must have at least 20 years of service.

We should be working as a country to get this health care for every veteran. Some mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder can be everlasting problem. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, around 15 percent of all veterans who have served are diagnosed with PTSD. When soldiers return home they should be welcomed with health care services that can accommodate their needs.

Thus, our country's military deserves more respect than they receive. They do a number of things behind the scenes that are not accounted for. We take for granted the freedom and safety that is provided to us as American citizens.

We should be donating whatever we can offer to those who keep us safe. Many of these brave human beings are never recognized for their courageous efforts. The U.S. military is worthy of more respect.

Brittany Houck was the first place winner of the Pennsylvania American Legion Essay Contest through Legion Post 205 in Saegertown. This year’s topic is “Does the U.S. military receive the respect they deserve?” Houck was one of 40 students who entered the competition from Saegertown Junior-Senior High School.

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