As I've been thinking about what to say, a number of things have crossed my mind and it's hard to know where to start. The simplest thing to say is "Thank you" and I know for many, that can even be enough though the words feel so inadequate to me. But I think what is really on my heart is "thank you because I haven't had to...."
- Thank you because I haven't had to fight for the right to write this message, criticize our country, the president and our other elected officials (MANY exercise this right frequently and forget how easy it could be to lose it)
-Thank you because I haven't had to fight for the right to practice my religion. There are many countries where even owning a bible could mean horrific persecution and death.
-Thank you because I haven't had to kiss a loved one good-bye and hope and pray that they make it home in one piece, though this day may come as my kids get older. I've had family that have served, but I was really too young to know (or I wasn't born yet!). And though I have friends who are currently serving, it still just doesn't feel as close to home.
-And Thank you because I haven't had to serve myself. In this country, we get the choice. That option remains in place because so many choose. I can't imagine having to say goodbye to my son as I leave for some other country and risk my life and possibly never get to see him grow up, never see my stepdaughter grow up, never see my husband again. Or even just missing the day to day things that we all take for granted.
There are other reasons, of course, but this could get really long if I try to list them all. Those last two are really the one's that make me the most emotional. I think that's partly because I've never felt like my rights have ever really been in jeopardy- a security I know is owed to those who have served this country over the years. But I can't imagine losing any friends or loved ones. It's such a real and scary possibility. I feel for the families that have known and loved fallen soldiers. I feel for the mothers and fathers who watch their children leave to fight. I have literally sobbed thinking about the possibility that my son will somehow someday be a member of the armed forces and will go to war- and he's only two years old. This is another reason to thank those of you who have served and are currently serving. Someday, it will still be a choice and maybe, just maybe, someday he won't have to. I think that possibility makes me the most grateful of all. For me, losing my own freedom and safety is less wrenching than the thought that someday his might be at risk. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do or have done.
I pulled the following video from YouTube... there were many that made me cry like Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This," Mark Schulz "Letters from War", Trace Adkins "Arlington"... I went with "Til the Last Shot's Fired" by Trace Adkins because it includes many of the past wars, not just current (though I would editorialize that the Korean War was again overlooked). If you're brave enough to watch tearjerkers, make sure you watch the other videos I listed, but this one may likely do it, too.
Again, Thank You, Soldiers.
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