“Freedom isn't free - so thank a Veteran for doing their part in keeping us free!”
Today, we’re honored to have the opportunity to speak with Pilar Cobb, a veteran with a unique perspective on military life, as she not only served herself but has also been a military wife for nearly 40 years. Follow along as Pilar guides us in the meaning of Veterans Day and how we can support these heroes.
Tell us about your military background.
My journey began in 1978 when I enlisted in the Army right out of high school. I went through basic training at Fort McClellan in Alabama and then attended the Military Intelligence Analyst School in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Most of my service was at Fort Hood, Texas, and I ended my time in the Army as Sergeant, The vast majority of my military service has been as a military wife (nearly 40 years), mother to a son who is active duty Army as well as living in a military community to which we still have strong connections to. We love to "adopt" military soldiers and families as we know the challenges of a military lifestyle and enjoy the rich community we have with each other. It's been a huge blessing to be rooted in a military community as we often see the soldiers and families come and go then often return for another assignment. It's been a great way to stay connected and see them mature in their careers as well as grow their families.
My experience in the Army, especially at a young age, provided direction, discipline, and instilled a strong work ethic. It taught me how to lead and to be led. It taught me the importance of paying attention to detail, the benefit to exercise, living on my own and taking responsibility for my actions and decisions.
What inspired you to serve your country?
Interestingly, it was not a lifelong dream or longing I had. A persuasive recruiter visited my school, and the idea of “seeing the world” sounded like an exciting opportunity. That is what initially led me to enlist.
What were some challenges of serving, especially as a young woman?
Joining the military in the late 70s has its unique set of challenges. It was a time when the military was not as popular, post-Vietman War, an all volunteer army was still fairly new, and just the state of the government and politics all contributed to many of the difficulties the military faced. Moreover, being a young female soldier in a male-dominated environment presented its own difficulties.
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
Veterans Day is a crucial day to reflect on the freedoms our Constitution guarantees, thanks to the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have risen to the occasion every time our country and our freedom has been threatened. It’s a day to honor and remember the service and sacrifice of those who served.
Are there any organizations or initiatives that have been meaningful to you as a Veteran?
There are so many great organizations out there that are helping Veterans find jobs, provide homes or home repair. There are also many organizations who train k9's for disabled Vets, or offer treatment for mental health issues. I think today there is much more awareness of the needs of Veterans than what there was in years past and with the power of the internet, these things are much more readily available to Veterans.
How can we as civilians support and honor veterans and active-duty military?
Being a part of the military community definitely offers a unique perspective. We have organizations like the House of Heroes that provide home repair assistance and programs like Wake for Warriors that offer therapeutic experiences for wounded veterans. VA programs are readily available. Small gestures, like offering a meal or helping with tasks, can also make a huge impact on military families.
What advice do you want to leave us with?
Freedom isn't free - so thank a Veteran for doing their part in keeping us free!
To our women and men in uniform, past, present and future, thank you for serving our country and protecting us each and every day!