(by Claire Eilola, age 10)  What is a veteran?  I wish I could give the exact definition but I don’t think there’s any way to perfectly describe one. To me though a veteran is a hero, someone who puts their lives on the line for others. A veteran to me is a noble, brave, and courage man or woman. Veterans are people who give their full dedication to America. A veteran is someone who has the courage to leave their family behind to protect and keep the country we live in safe and free. Veterans sacrifice a lot to be in the military.  They have to pack up their belonging, say goodbye to their loved ones and leave to go overseas.  Often times they miss spending the holiday and birthdays with their family.  Their job is difficult and important.  When we say things like “Veterans are heroes”, they say they are just normal people doing their job and they don’t take credit for all they do. They are a team.  Tall or short, black or white, boy or girl they all serve together to make our country a better place. But to me what a veteran really means is …FREEDOM!.  The reason you can go meet your friends at the mall, go to school, stay up late and choose your religion is that veterans fought for our freedom.  They risked their lives for us!  Veterans are the bravest strongest heroes ever.  Veterans make our lives better.  All together veterans have changed America and made it the place it is today and I am proud to say I am an American! Ever since our country was born in 1776, America has continued to prosper and grow, and it could not have done so without the soldiers that protected it.  From the Army men that believed in and fought for this budding nation, to the pilots who soared through the clouds in defiance of a new and greater threat.  I believe that all America’s veterans, both those alive today and those deceased, should be recognized and appreciated by this country.