As we enter the holiday season, like many veterans, I’m remembering times when I observed some semblance of the holiday in an overseas location. One of those memories is a standout for me. In 2008, I was commanding a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Paktya province, Afghanistan. Combined with the separation and distance from families back home, many faces reflected the challenges of the difficult mission we were undertaking in our corner of the insurgency. The privilege of serving alongside these incredible men and women gave me a whole new appreciation for the core value of service before self. At a time when our politics has grown increasingly polarized and paralyzed, Veterans like those I served with in Afghanistan offer a ray of hope. Veterans understand this call to selfless service implicitly.