Watermark Retirement Communities recently asked veterans living in its 39 communities across the country to share life lessons learned while serving the United States.

Below is a sampling of the wisdom shared. Additional comments are posted online.

“In the military you served with various ethnic groups, people of different color, education and background. This helped shape me into a better understanding of how to get on in life.

— Anthony G. Lanciano, who served in the U.S. Army as a private first class in the artillery and travelled to Europe.

“Help one another in hard times. This led to my decision to join the police force, continuing to assist those in need, attaining rank of sergeant.”

— John B. Foley

“I served on the Medical Transport, I was exposed to the wounded, learning compassion and tolerance seeing those less fortunate. I believe this trait is one I possess and use frequently.”

— Joseph E. Geffert

“I learned how to cook, which I later always did for my family.”

— John Wisniewiski

“I learned to be disciplined and how to lead men, which helped me later running my business.”

— William B. McAuliffe

“Take advantage of learning opportunities. I learned a lot when being aboard ship in the South Pacific.”

— Augustine “Augie” Fortunato

“Working as a team. When we were on a mission everyone had a certain job, together we were able to do more.”

— Leonard Olszewski

“Deep breathing – one moment at a time. Life is too short.”

— Monroe Robbins

“Help others. In dining, they would encourage soldiers who seemed down and out to take it easy, smile. Helping others is key.”

— Howard Green, who was a U.S. Army private stationed in San Antonio, Texas

“Don’t rush into things. If you make a rash decision, you’re done. If you are flying and make a rash decision to charge your fuel tanks (the wrong one) or jump, you could be in trouble. You must stay cool, calm and collected at all times.”

— Robert DiGuglielmo

“Serving allowed me to continue my education. The importance of education carried with me.”

— Frederick Petri

“You have to duck when someone hollers duck. Be ready for an emergency at times.”

— Joseph “Joe” Melvin

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