Veteran’s day is about reflecting on the incredible dedication, courage, and honor that Americans, both living and deceased, have demonstrated in order to preserve our nation’s independence and safety.  Their loyalty to our nation is unmatched and it is important to honor Veterans not only today, but every day.

We have the honor of hearing first-hand accounts of what Veteran’s Day means to a Veteran and what it was like to come home after being away serving on active duty from our very own Mark S. Campbell and Tim Waller. Take a look at their moving entries below.

Mark Campbell A Special Message from Coldwell Banker Veterans“I am an Iraq War Veteran and the Vice President of Sales for Coldwell Banker United, Realtors in Killeen(Fort Hood), Texas. I served in Baghdad, Iraq with the 4th Bn, 5th Air Defense Artillery, 1stCavalry Division in ’04-’05. Serving with the men and women of that unit in combat was an absolute honor!

During our time in Iraq, the thing I missed most about home was enjoying the very freedoms that our military works tirelessly to protect! I missed golfing with my buddies and backyard BBQs, but most of all I missed being with my family and being able to say good morning and good night to my kids back home!

After a full year in Iraq, the day finally came when it was time to return home to this great country and my family. Being greeted at the airport by so many supporters of the US Military was an absolutely overwhelming and inspiring moment, but that paled in comparison to standing on the parade field of the First Cavalry Division in front of the families who had waited a year for us to come back home!  It was such a great feeling to be back home and in the company of friends and family!” -Mark S. Campbell, Coldwell Banker United, Realtors

“I enlisted in the Marines on January 5th, 1976 some 37 years ago and arrived at the Marine Corps Depot known to many as Parris Island the land that God forgot.  It was there where I endured 13 weeks of rigorous boot camp training in order to claim the honorable title of United States Marine. In 1977 at the young age of 18, I received orders to report to Okinawa Japan referred to as “The Rock” where I would spend the next twelve months training and traveling the South Pacific.

The deplorable conditions of the South Pacific jungles were no match for the comforts of home which usually featured: hot showers at will, a clean bed & 8 hours of sleep, my favorite television shows, a refrigerator with lots of food & cold drinks & oh yes mom’s home cooked meals.

Instead I replaced mom’s home cooked meals with C-rations, a warm comfortable bed with the jungle floor and all its diverse creatures while getting little to no sleep, a hot shower with no shower for weeks at a time, a television with only a written letter from home, a refrigerator once filled with food & cold drinks with a can of chocolate nut-roll & a canteen of warm water. There’s truth to that saying; “There’s no place like home.”

As I traveled to different countries throughout the Pacific witnessing firsthand the impoverished and poor day to day living conditions these people lived in I couldn’t help but realize how special America is and how much I missed home. I will always be grateful and fortunate for this life’s lesson because it taught me that America is truly the land of opportunity.

I would like to close by personally thanking all my fellow Veterans past, present & future for honorably serving the United States of America. Your unselfish commitment to God, Country & Family have preserved the freedoms we all enjoy today. Our freedom was never free it was paid for by our brave & valiant men & women in uniform through their blood, their minds, their hearts, their limbs and their lives. I would like to give a special thanks to three special Marines who have all since passed but remain in my thoughts, heart & prayers: my beloved father Edward George Waller who served in WW II, my Uncle Mickey Waller who served in WW II, and a dear personal friend Edward Shiko who served in the Korean War. Please remember to thank a Vet this November 11th as we honor and remember all those Veterans who’ve served and continue to serve the United States of America.” -Timothy L. Waller, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, U.S.M.C. 1976-1980 “Once a Marine Always a Marine, Semper Fidelis