"When you're on the battlefield it doesn't matter what color, what faith, what race or whatever," said veteran Rick Briggs. "If you need a buddy, you are in a jam, they're there."
Words of wisdom from our veterans as a divided nation tries to heal following a bitter election. All over the country America is honoring our veterans with parades, tributes and memorials.
"This man right here, he's a heroes here, he took a sniper bullet," said Briggs.
Michigan’s Paralyzed Veterans of America honoring those who served and perhaps pointing to a way forward
"I'm Dennis Powers, United States Marine Corp."
"I'm Dana Besson I was an AMH 2 in the US Navy."
"Capt. Rich Luterman active duty US Air Force from 1989 to 1993.
"Veterans Day to me is a celebration of not just one era of service people," said veteran Ira Brownridge. "But it's the sacrifice of many service people throughout our history."
It's Veterans Day in a divided America and as we celebrate those who served in the armed forces--we may do well to heed the best of their example.
"The country should learn what we learned a long time ago in boot camp before we got out of Parris Island," said Powers. "We knew were no longer individuals but were one."
FOX 2: "What can we learn from the military about camaraderie, loyalty and unity at a time when this country is divided on almost every front?"
"Our military has been a constant source of all of things," Luterman said.
"I saw more acts of love between fellow servicemen - when the action is hot and everything is on the line, and when we say no one left behind that sticks out in my mind," Powers said. "No one left behind."
But are we doing just that? The result of a contentious election is tearing the rifts between us further apart while our current and future commanders-in-chief point to another way forward.
"I think and it goes both ways, I just think taking a better understanding of each other and each other's positions and respecting each other's positions," Brownridge said.
"Nothing works unless you pull together," Powers said. "If every member of my squad was going a different direction what is going to be the result? Objective lost."
The objective for us: Perfecting the experiment that is America.
"The flag it just reminds me of the freedom and the men and women that died for the freedom," Brownridge said. "And not just in war but when it came to segregation when it came to voter's rights and things like that to me that's what it means: progress that we made from 220 something years ago to now."
In their own words Michigan veterans on the service, unity and country.