I have often find myself thinking about what characteristics it takes or is embedded in the hearts of those who serve this country? Are they natural born fighters, filled with bravery? Do they possess an unselfishness that only they can understand? Are they filled with a sense of pride in this country that others do not? Do they have this nagging voice that constantly tells them this is their calling?
I don’t know because I am not a service member. What I do know is how thankful I am for each and every single one of them. And, while I never had a calling to enlist, I have always, always been a supporter of our military.
My father is one of the most patriotic people I know. Maybe that is where I get my feelings from? I remember when 9/11 happened, and we gathered for dinner, my father who is typically quite quiet answered a question I posed. It was the first time in my life I thought about a “draft,” something that only existed in history class. I think the whole nation was stunned after 9/11, not knowing what would happen. Not knowing if young men and women would be called upon on a whole new level. I asked my father, “If you are called to serve what would you do?” Without hesitation he exclaimed, “If my country needs me to go, I will go.”
While I know that does not near equate to any member of our military who has actually enlisted and promised to serve or those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I do think that I was influenced by my father’s appreciation for our military, even long before 9/11.
I still to this day look around at sporting events and am flabbergasted at the many people who don’t place their hand over their hearts when the “Star Spangled Banner,” plays. Something my Dad taught us kids, out of respect for our country. I get emotional when I see a man or woman in uniform, once finding myself actually crying in a jewelry store, after striking up a conversation with a solider who “window shopped” while I wait for my rings to get cleaned. Even my own wedding day, when our venue had an agreement to offer a portion of our rental fee to a charity of our choice, my husband and I chose the Wounded Warrior Project.
I am not telling you all this for a pat on the back for being a “good US citizen,” I am telling you this because I truly believe no matter what your religious or political beliefs are in this world, we should all be so ever grateful and supportive of the men and women in uniform. Those who served, those serving, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Even their families deserve our thanks for they sacrifice too, giving their loves ones up for liberty, justice and freedom. If you see a service member, my goodness, extend your hand, remove your cap and thank them. They are often under paid and under appreciated.
These men and women have put their lives on the line, missed milestones in their family’s lives and many paid an ultimate sacrifice. And, with all that on the line, all they want or need is a simple and sincere thank you and our appreciation.
Can’t we all do a little better in this country for them? I mean, they do so very much for us.
Happy Veterans Day! From my heart… thank you!