Today is November 11, 2014. Only 16 more days til Thanksgiving but more importantly, its Veteran’s Day. Although we should celebrate and honor our veterans everyday for the courageous work they do, today is set aside just for them. These brave men and women, alive or fallen, are what helps to make our country great. They stand up for what’s right, defend our country, and struggle to help us, as US citizens, remain free. They sacrifice their lives for our freedoms, for our way of life, for everything we hold dear. Their families pay a high price also so that they may serve their country. It can’t be an easy thing to do: seeing your son, daughter, husband, wife, sister, brother leave home to defend the rights of every American in the United States. But these men and women do it, their families do it. I have a great admiration for these people. They have more guts, courage, and drive than I ever had or will ever have. I have family members that have served and although they don’t talk about it much, it does not lessen my admiration for them. We have all seen the movies that portray life as a soldier. But as realistic as they may be, I imagine that they don’t even come close to what it was, what it is, really like to be there, in that situation. Along the way, there have been millions lost, injured, scarred for life in the pursit of keeping us free. We can say thank you from now until forever but in truth, it will never be enough. But we should continue to say it, to show it. Not just today but everyday.
My son is 10 years old today and all he ever talks about is wanting to join the military. I continue to forbid him from doing that. Not because I want to squash his dreams, not because I don’t think he is good enough, and not because I think that his life is more important than others. Every life is important. (Of course, every mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife thinks that their family members’ life is more important than others but that’s not the issue here.) But it comes back to my not being brave enough and strong enough. I am not strong enough for my only son to risk his life by joining the armed forces. I know that if he is bound and determined to do this, I can only keep him from it for so long. Once he’s an adult, he can make his own choices and do as he wishes. I just pray that he chooses not to follow through with this childhood dream. If however, he does decide to follow this dangerous but very brave path, I will, of course, stand behind him every step of the way.
So for every person that has EVER served in ANY branch of the armed forces and their families waitng for them at home, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being brave, for being courageous, for having the guts that most of us don’t. Thank you for doing what you do to keep us free and safe. It takes a very special kind of person to do what you do and you should be held in the highest regard. For without you, without your heart, without your bravery, we would not be what we are. It is because of you that we have our freedoms, our lives, our country. Thank you will never be enough. I may not know any of you that have died or are living still, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t carry each of you in my heart. I am grateful to all of you that make my life as I know it possible. So although you should be thanked and your service celebrated each and every day from now until forever, just know that on this day, you are in the thoughts and hearts of millions. Thank you.