Every year on Nov. 11 I find myself in a dilemma. I served in the U.S. Army for two years (1955-1956) in Japan, but I do not feel I am a veteran. I guess because I was one of the lucky ones — too young for World War II and the  Korean War and too old and with a family for Vietnam.

I served during the 30 months it was declared "peacetime." We received no G.I. Bill, but they gave it to us in the 1970s.

The other reason why I don't feel I'm a veteran is perhaps because I was trained as a combat medic, but they did not require one at this time. In its wisdom, the Army found the perfect job for this 18-year-old trained medic. They sent me to Japan to play football and box for two years.

I pay homage to those men and women veterans who put their lives on the line to fight with their country; and for the 508,194 who have died since I was born.

— Ronal Reynier, Bakersfield