Journey of Respect

Written by guest blogger CW4 Doug Petersen (Ret), who served 20 years as a US Army Aviator.  A decorated Vietnam veteran, Doug was a Dustoff pilot and was shot down twice during his tour. Check out more of Doug’s work at or listen to his TEDx Talk.

This is part two of an eight-part series on values. Today’s value discussion is on Respect.

Soldiers of 34th Military Police Company, Special Troops Battalion, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division pay final respects during a memorial service July 20 honoring three fallen comrades who were killed in action as the result of a rocket attack on Contingency Operating Base Basra July 16. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tyler Maulding)

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tyler Maulding)

This core value is in the blood of our military in so many ways. It’s demonstrated in respecting the uniform, the weapon they carry, and respecting the authority of those in the chain of command. The most driving form of respect is the respect for our American flag. Our flag represents freedom, fallen heroes, and the entire nation as a whole. Respect is in the blood, and there isn’t a way of removing it. It’s our turn to show respect for the same. When we see someone in uniform, show respect by acknowledging him or her for their service. If it weren’t for each of them, and the many others before them, we wouldn’t have what we have today.

When we judge others, or are critical of them unjustly, we are not respecting them as a person, or respecting their position. And when we do this openly, so that others see, we may be diminishing the respect they have of us. Being disrespectful has no business in our lives. It is an ugly and a demeaning character fault.

When we drive a high-performance car, we respect its power, or we may find ourselves in an accident. We also respect to power of Mother Nature with her weather phenomena, otherwise we will find ourselves in dangerous situations. Our leaders deserve respect for the position they have been placed in. While we may not agree with the decisions, they may make all the time; we should respect the authority of the position.

This is not to mean that we can’t stand up for what we believe in too. If we simply rolled over with every challenge placed before us, no one would respect us for not standing up for ourselves. Individuals have opinions, and we have one too most of the time. We should respect their opinion, just as we would want them, and others, to respect ours. They have the right to their opinion, just as we have to ours.respect

To respect someone is to honor them; to give credit to their abilities, qualities, or achievements. While we may think, respect is only a value that we give to others; we need to respect ourselves for whom we are too. Honor and give credit to our own abilities, qualities, and achievements.

Today’s Journey is all about respect.

Inspire: Today’s Journey, by Douglas N Petersen. ISBN 978-1-62137-639-2 (softcover); 978-1-62137-640-8 (electronic). Library of Congress Control Number: 2014921800. Cover photograph by iStock contributor David Wilberg. Cover design by VBW staff, Kassi Cooper.
Published 2014 by Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 9949. College Station, TX 77842, US. ©2014 Douglas N Petersen. All rights reserved.

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