I recently saw a TV Public Service Announcement (PSA) that encouraged employers to hire veterans because a veteran is the epitome of integrity.
Really? Every single veteran?
What is it about being a veteran that guarantees a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code? Is it the camaraderie of killing "the enemy" for mom and apple pie?
Look, I'm not suggesting that many servicemen and women do not possess integrity. I'm sure many of them do. But I'm also certain that there are just many folks who have never served a day in the armed forces who possess integrity. Integrity is born of a person's character and, while external forces can help shape that character, the real work must be performed by each of us ourselves.
Armed forces veterans are just like the rest of us; each one is a unique individual. Some will respond to the unreal stress of war in positive and beneficial ways; others don't or won't. Some veterans are loving, compassionate individuals and some of them are mean and nasty -- just like the rest of us.
I'm sure there are many troubled people who joined the armed services and this experience helped to turn their lives around. I'm also sure there are many troubled people who joined the armed services and this experience simply pushed them further down a dark road.
Are there veterans who are the epitome of integrity? You bet your ass there are!
Are there veterans who are the antithesis of integrity? Ditto the above answer.