Five years after founding The Gratitude Campaign, I've received over 10,500 e-mails, and 1,500 comments on YouTube. It seems that there is a lot to talk about with regard to gratitude for those who serve; not the least of which is the ever present challenge of understanding how to keep the politics out of it. Hopefully this blog will give us an opportunity for some rational, reasonable, and respectful discussion. I hope you'll join us...

~Scott Truitt, FOUNDER


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On "Heroes"

I was tempted to write a lengthy blog today on how to speak to those who serve – sharing some insights from my experience over the course of this campaign that other civilians might not be aware of. And I still may do that another time. But in thinking about what I wanted to say, one thing kept coming to the forefront: Don’t call them Heroes.

Now, I want to be clear here: I am not suggesting this because I don’t believe that they deserve to be called Heroes. I do; wholeheartedly. In my assessment, anyone who has dedicated – and in many cases, sacrificed -- their life to serve others is the definition of a Hero.

Having said that, what I know is that if one thing is consistent among every member of the Armed Forces that I’ve spoken to, it is their humility. Call a Veteran or Service Person a Hero, and I guarantee you that they will offer you someone else who they believe is more deserving of that title. Someone who served longer, suffered more, or accomplished more. There is always someone who, in their assessment, is more deserving of the title “Hero” – no matter who you talk to, how long they've served, how much they've suffered, or how much they've accomplished.

What I’ve learned from this is that, “Heroes” are in the eye of the beholder. By all means, if you admire someone who serves, feel free to tell them that they are your Hero. Just don’t expect them to agree that they are a Hero.

And that’s part of what makes them Heroes -- their humility.


  1. Scott,

    I was just made aware of this website today and I wanted to "thank you" for stepping up and finding a way for all of us to "thank" our military personnel for their service and sacrifice. I for one am one of the people who always want to say "thank you" when I see them walking by, but am too reserved to actually follow through with the action. I am also very sentimental, so I would probably break down in tears if I did follow through with a "thank you for your service". And that would be very embarrassing. I hate it when I cry at the least little thing. Anyway, thank you for giving us this tool! It was a great idea and one that I hope will spread around the world.

  2. I served from 92-95 your words expressed exactly what I felt then and still do today. For me raising my right hand to serve, protect and defend and die for my country. It was a personal calling. I didn't do it to be a hero and to this day I don't feel like a hero. I love my brothers and sisters in the U.S. Military. I pray for their safety everyday and that one day this world will just stand down, at ease and just be at peace and respectful of each other just be courteous to each other and stop acting so damn entitled about everything and realize it's not about just you the individual. We all have to work together and pull our heads out of our 4 points on contact and square each other away. Take care of each other no matter what. Just my 2 cents. U.S. Army Vet. HOOAH


One of the things that we at The Gratitude Campaign are most grateful for is our Freedom of Speech. But with Freedom comes responsibility. We ask that you keep your comments constructive and respectful to others. Disagreement is fine -- in fact, we celebrate it. Let's just show that we can disagree peacefully and respectfully.

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