Living Our Values Every Day

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 seven 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.

Love is probably not your first thought when you think of our military men and women. If it’s not in the top five, perhaps you should reconsider. Past and present, our military has demonstrated a love of country that is immeasurable. It’s the love they have for every man, woman, and child who breathe the air of freedom. It’s the camaraderie of every brother and sister in arms that screams love. ‘No man left behind’ is an unselfish act of heroism and love. Let there be no doubt that love, while not said aloud, is one of the strongest in the lives of our military.

It’s hard to describe sometimes, and when we try, we get a little giddy, and a sense of warmth suddenly comes over us. Because there is just not one description of this value, no matter how we describe it, it is a valid definition.

To care for someone more than we care for ourselves, that is love. Love is that connection from one heart to another, which is boundless and infinite. No one can take away our love of another person, or living creature. It is simply ours, and it is ours to give. Love is not only in words or action; it is felt in our heart. Love is giving and is an unselfish act of kindness. It is strong as steel and as soft as a cotton ball. Love is that little smile we see from across the room. Love is many things, and we could go on describing examples of love.

Each of us can think about how we are love, and are loved. The levels of intensity will vary, but we still have that feeling in our heart and soul. There is one way to increase that wonderful feeling. There is one way to make the love we share with others that more intense and beautiful. To go to the next level, we must love ourselves. Once we love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are, and love that person, the love we share with others will be like skyrockets bursting in the night sky.

So the homework assignment for those that could use a little help with loving yourself, is to take a sticky note and write on it, “I LOVE YOU!” and place in on your bathroom mirror and leave it there for two weeks. Read it to yourself every morning and just before you go to bed. (If it doesn’t work after two weeks, take it down, and send me an email, and we will try something else.)

Today’s Journey is all about Living Our Values Everyday = L.O.V.E.

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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