Abby Huntsman is a co-host of MSNBC's "The Cycle." In honor of Veterans Day, she paid tribute to military heroes and talked about how her younger brothers, Naval Academy grads, are preparing to fly to serve our country. Here, she shares more about what this day means to her family.
If there was one thing my parents ingrained in us at a young age, it was service. They didn’t care what we did with our lives, as long as we found a way to give back.
Every night before going to bed my mom would ask us, what did you do today to make someone else’s life a little bit better?
That has stuck with me. And for my two younger brothers, it inspired them to be the men they are today.
Since they were little boys, they talked about wanting to join the military. My dad would take them to Coronado every year, a small island at the southern tip of California, where the Navy operates its Naval Air Station (my dad was actually born in Coronado, while my grandfather was serving in the Navy).
While there, the boys would watch the planes fly in and land, one after the other. Early mornings were filled with the echo of Navy Seals running drills on the beach. My brothers would always say, one day I want to be like them.
Fifteen years later, they are now part of the military family, pledging to serve this country, to face danger head on, and to fight for the freedoms we all get to enjoy. Both attending the Naval Academy, one just graduated, and the other almost there.
My family still goes to Coronado every year, but it’s no longer just a beautiful beach with planes flying over, and ships out at sea. Now I look up and I think, that’s someone’s brother up there, that’s someone’s baby flying that plane. I look out at the aircraft carriers and wonder about the people inside. What are their stories? Who is at home awaiting their return?
Veterans Day is always an important reminder of those who served, but today, this holiday means so much more to me. It’s not just a day to remember those who put their lives on the line, or in the worst case, made the ultimate sacrifice; but also a day of respect for those who are currently serving, and preparing to serve.
My brothers often tell me, "We are not the heroes, we haven’t done anything yet." And among other things, it’s that humility that makes them so inspiring.
They remind me that life isn’t about the little things we tend to get worked up over. It’s about service, selflessness, and giving your energy to something greater than yourself. Something we could all use an extra dose of, especially today.
You can find more from Abby on Veterans Day and her family here, and by tuning into"The Cycle" on MSNBC this Tuesday at 3 p.m.