Being Authentic

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 six of an eight-part series on values. Each of the eight-blog posts will focus on one core value and how it applies to our veterans and those still serving our country.

The only mask our military members wear are protective ones, and then, just when necessary to keep them safe from outside situations. When not wearing a protective mask, we see them standing tall and proud. Our veterans stand up and are proud, too. We can look into eyes and see who they are. They’re not hiding who they are; they are our former and current military, and we should be proud of each one of them.

The Masquerade Ball was well attended. Each person had on their masks, hiding their identity. The masks were intricate and very detailed, and we could tell took a lot of time to design just the perfect mask. At the end of the Masquerade Ball, at the stroke of midnight, everyone was supposed to take off their masks and reveal their true identity. Not everyone played by the rules though and didn’t or couldn’t remove what was hiding their actual identity.

Sometimes we fall into that same situation, where we are wearing a mask, pretending to be someone, we’re not, and for whatever reason, we can’t seem to reveal our true self. We stay behind the mask. We are comfortable there and want to remain in this space where we feel safe. What holds the mask on? In many cases, it is the glue of low self-esteem. It is the glue of fear of others seeing our true self. It is the lack of courage and truthfulness that hold our mask in place.

Being authentic, removing our mask is not easy, and what we seem to forget, we are unique and exceptional. When we hide behind our mask, we are not letting the world see how truly special we really are. Authenticity takes courage. Authenticity is being truthful. We don’t need any mask on our journey; in fact, it only impedes our travel.

The stroke of midnight has rung. It’s time to find the courage and reveal your identity. There is no one who can be a better you, so stop pretending to be someone else.

Today’s Journey is all about authenticity.

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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