Ingrained into Their Hearts and Souls

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 eight 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.

This concludes the series on how the core basic values we love so much are so integrated into our service men and women, as well as all our veterans. They live these values each day, whether in uniform or not. It’s simply in their blood; ingrained into their hearts and souls. None of us would be surprised if we saw them wearing a tattoo with CRISTAL, now that we know what it means; Courage, Respect, Integrity, Truthfulness, Authenticity, and Love.

Author Doug Petersen

The last seven Today’s Journey has been about personal values; Courage, Respect, Integrity, Service, Truthfulness, Authenticity, and Love. Certainly, there are more values than these, and we are living those as well in our lives. While each one was discussed individually, they are certainly not independent of one another.

How can we have Respect in our lives if we don’t have Integrity and Truthfulness? Isn’t there a link between them? Of course, there is and when we live these values, we are not even aware that there is this connection. Can we have Authenticity without Truthfulness and Love? There is a link, intertwined among these and the others; all working together to create the whole person.

The keystone of them all is Courage. Without Courage, all the others can exist, but not at their potential. Can we have Love in our lives without Courage? Can we tell the Truth without Courage? We can ask the same question, comparing one to another, and we will discover they are all linked to each other. This connection is a strong bond of personal and professional values that govern our lives.

It’s when these, along with others build who we are and how we act. This is the legacy we leave behind, not the bank account. It is how we live our life that makes a difference in the lives we touch. It is our values, in action, that guide us on our journey, and our values will get us through some of the toughest challenges we may face on our path.

Today’s Journey is all about having C.R.I.S.T.A.L. (Courage, Respect, Integrity, Service, Truthfulness, Authenticity, and Love) in our lives.

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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