Happy Veteran’s Day

On this Veteran’s Day our thoughts are with all those who have honorably served our country and who continue to serve.

TO MY FELLOW VETERANS BOTH PAST AND PRESENT –

It is impossible for those who haven’t served in the armed forces to truly understand what a veteran experiences.  Most people see our military in action from the comfort of their homes in front of their televisions.  They don’t see the long hours of preparation leading up to a deployment.  They don’t see the tears in the eyes of the families when you depart yet again for months on end.  They don’t endure the living conditions you face in many parts of the world where you can’t stop sweating, you work around the clock, and you don’t have a comfortable bed on which to lay your head at night.  Most will never know what it’s like to set up camp on death’s doorstep.

It’s not just you that deserves thanks for your sacrifices.  Your families and loved ones also experience a life that cannot be comprehended by those not associated with the military.   Each Christmas morning when they wake up and you’re not there is a sacrifice.  Every missed birthday, little league football game, or dance recital comes at a cost.  Then when you come home, your family has to pull up roots and move to another state – your spouse and kids have to make new friends, adjust to a new school, and let go of the comforts of familiarity that sustained them through your deployment.

To you and your families, THANK YOU.  You serve so others may not have to.

TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NEVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY –

Maybe you are physically unable to serve.  Maybe the long and frequent deployments don’t appeal to you.   Perhaps you are opposed to war and the politics involved with it.  It doesn’t matter if you were unable, or never wanted to join the armed forces, you are important to this country.  You keep the home fires burning.  It is for you that we sacrifice and put ourselves in harm’s way.  Your support and understanding sustains our veterans more than you can possibly imagine. The Christmas card from a random 4th grade student is received with a smile.  The care packages are certainly always appreciated.

The simple “thank you for your service” coming from a complete stranger when I happen to be in my uniform in public is music to the soul.  It reminds me that we are all brothers and sisters in a cause united.  With few exceptions, we all want to see this country’s greatness endure.  So to those of you on the home front, THANK YOU for trying to understand, for giving your support, and for making this country great.

“…people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

                 – Richard Grenier (1993 summary of a work by George Orwell)  

Happy Veteran’s Day!

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