Please remember to thank a military family today, for their sacrifice is great. They watch their loved ones walk away, not knowing if they will return emotionally, physically, spiritually whole or worse – if they will return at all.
They are left on the front line of their homes and communities, battling the everyday struggles of life without their loved one lying beside them in bed, unable to sleep worrying about where their warrior’s feet will next fall, knowing only that it is in a dark and uncertain world full of danger and uncertainty.
Children wait patiently for news their mom, dad, brother, sister or relative ‘is ok’. Up and at ‘em each day, these brave souls carry the weight of their book-filled backpack and the damn near impossible burden of knowing one of the most important people in their lives, their center, is far from safe, far from home and way too far from their little hearts.
The caretakers left behind keep the home fires burning, stoking the flames with love and support for the one missing from the empty chair at the table.
They are the tear-wipers, the monster-in-the-dark chasers, the homework helpers, the lunch packers, the house cleaners, the animal caretakers, the bill payers, the-go-to-work-and-smile-through-the-tears heroes and the ‘do everything’ champions held together themselves only by true grit, rock-hard faith and the transcendent soul-to-soul connection to their best friend and anchor.
No matter the relationship, those left here at home will not know true peace until they feel the sweetest embrace, the first twirl in the welcome home celebration dance or hear those ever-longed for words “I’m home, baby, I’m home. It’s gonna be ok now”.
Today, we honor our veterans, all of them – past, present and even those yet to come, for theirs is the greatest sacrifice. We thank you all for your service; not only those far and away in the hot spots and most dangerous regions but those, too, who keep the military machinery running behind the scenes. No matter your position, know it is an integral part of keeping our world, our town, our children and each of us safe from harm.
There is no greater gift to give your country and people and no thanks great enough for your country and people to ever convey our gratitude.
We can, however, give back. We can vote legislation in that assures our veterans get the best care, medical and psychological. We can support our military families here at home, you’d be amazed at what a phone call, visit or an invitation to a neighborhood bar-b-que can do. We can offer to babysit or volunteer to clean a house, cook a meal or just be a shoulder for a military mom, dad or kid to lean on.
We can make more of an effort to see behind the smiles of determination and hope and reach in a little further to find the scared, sleep deprived person inside, the one who is brave for everyone else who needs that hug of reassurance more than anyone and give it to them. Hold them dear and provide a safe haven and loving place for their tears to fall; then respect their honor and tell no one for they don’t want our sympathy – they need our strength.
This is how we give back.
We thank our vets, we thank our military families and we thank those that often get overlooked, the animals that serve in our military. Without all of you, our lives would be far different today and I for one remain ever grateful.
We salute all of you this Veterans Day, November 11, 2015.
Thank you for your service to your country and to those here at home waiting and praying for your safe return –
each and every one.