Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day of thanks #10

Today I am grateful for the amazing men and women who serve in the .5%. The .5% of Americans who serve in the US military. The 1/2% of the nation who have courageously risked life, who have run toward the danger instead of away from it, who have rescued others, freed others, removed genuinely bad people from this Earth, those who have sat in a foxhole, or been shot at, or who hid in a jungle or drove along a city street, waiting for the inevitable explosion that would maim him, or her, or a friend. The ones who fought for this country, do what they are told and understood their place on the team. To all of you, thank you. Thank you for volunteering, for committing, for fighting, for getting our country closer to where it is, and to where it can/needs to be.

I am grateful for you and for your families. I had NO clue...NONE - of what it was really like to have a husband or wife, mother or father, leave for war. To see a half packed bag in the corner as the d-day slowly approaches. To try to pretend you will be totally fine for 6 months while your partner is half a world away. To feel the sadness of seeing your baby crawl for the first time and have to explain it over skype on your next weekly call. To feel the utter romance as your man in uniform (that you haven't seen in 6 months) gets off that plane and whirls you around as if in a dream. To truly be proud EVERY TIME you hear the national anthem playing.

It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you. Now, I have seen first hand. I have seen the young men and women VOLUNTEER to do this. They GIVE. They UNDERSTAND that more powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin and that freedom is never free.

I still tear up everytime I see a family reunited. I get proud (and a little selfishly annoyed sometimes) when I see bases performing "exercises' to practice real-life situations to make sure they are the best they can be. I see military kids that are stronger than almost all of the people I know. I still get excited every time I see a C130 take off and especially when an F 15 lands on base. I love that I can tell the difference of the planes now by their sounds and my kids know which base they came from by the call signs on the tails. I get chills every time I go to the movies on base and the whole theater stands at attention and salutes while the anthem is played.

All of these pleasures I am thankful for. And they are all graciously provided to me by the US military. So on Friday, please take a moment to thank and appreciate what these people have done for you.