How does one thank, adequately thank, the men and women who are serving and have served in our nation's armed forces? I suppose many would say that depends upon the depth of one's gratitude. Regardless of how deep a person's gratitude is, how could one effectively communicate gratitude to another for the willingness to sacrifice his or her life?
Although most of our men and women in service do not give the ultimate sacrifice, the reality remains that every one of them has committed to do so if required. Not only do they agree to sacrifice their physical lives if required, but many also commit to put a large portion of their youth, their educations and future careers on hold. Because of this, many enter college as freshmen or sophomores while their high school and family peers are graduating college and launching careers.
Many men and women leave military service physically whole but emotionally and physiologically scarred. These men and women will face months, years or sometimes a lifetime of struggles no different from those you or I may face as a result of great trauma. Yes, many of us have faced and over came great traumas. But, how many of us willingly put ourselves in the path of trauma with the hope or intention of protecting millions of others whom we have never met, nor ever will?
I don't know the specific percentages, but some say it's as low as 1% of our population who voluntarily serves in our armed forces. These men and women serve each and every U.S. citizen regardless of who they may be, where they come from and even those who despise them. They choose to serve with the intent of protecting our lives, our homes, our livelihoods, our children, our hope, our dreams and our freedoms.
From the view out my window, it is humanly impossible to express my depth of gratitude to the men and women who serve and protect me. Yes, me ... and you ... and you ... and you ... and ...
Thank you to all who serve and have served. May God bless and protect you and your families.
A special prayer for my loved ones:
U.S. Air Force (veteran) - D., AB served 4 years
U.S. Navy (active duty) - M., DG and wife M., K., currently in 5th & 4th year of service
U.S. Navy (active duty) - D., JP, currently in 5th year of service
U.S. Air Force (active duty) - T., MA and husband T.,G., currently in 1st year of service
I pray: Psalm 121:7-8 " The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."