My father and uncles grew up in a time where prejudices were out in the open. My father witnessed violence towards Blacks growing up. Yet when their country asked them to serve they wore the uniform. My father would serve in the Army 10 years and was a Korean War Veteran. My uncle would serve in Vietnam surviving being shot down.
They did not wear the uniform to protect the violence nor prejudices. They wore the uniform because they believed in ideals such as "all men are created equal", "inalienable rights", "We the People" and "in order to form a more perfect union". And while my father served in uniform during the Korea War his parents had to pay a poll tax to vote in Texas. My dad left the military with a stronger sense of our nations ideals, who we really are, our responsibility to our brothers and sisters around the world, and what our democracy means to the world. These are the values my cousins and I grew up with. These are the values our veterans defend.