Borderland veterans belong to a pretty exclusive club.
Less than one half of 1% of the U.S. population serves in the nation’s military.
Local veterans wear that distinction with pride and gratitude – proud of their service and grateful for the positive impact that the military has had on their lives.
“Veterans have done such a good job serving this country, 90% of the country doesn’t even know the sacrifices we have made,” said retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Sloniger.
El Paso veterans like Sloniger and Jesus Bravo are proud of their service, but they certainly don’t think of themselves as heroes.
They say they are just regular guys who answered the call when the nation needed them.
“The guys who are heroes are the ones who didn’t come back,” said Bravo, a former Army sergeant who did two combat tours in Vietnam.
Here is what a handful of borderland veterans have to say about serving in the military and what being a veteran means to them.