Today is Veteran’s Day.
There is lots of military in my family. My dad is a retired Army officer. My older brother serves in the Army. My nephew that lives just down the street from me is currently serving. I can bet that there is at least one military veteran in your family as well.
I worked at a Marine Base for over four years serving alongside the bravest our country has to offer. These brave men and women who sacrifice so much all in the name of freedom of country.
Now I work at a national cemetery, where these brave men and women are laid to rest at the end of their days. Quite a transition, if you ask me. I went from joking and laughing with Marines to burying them.
I’ve seen the military life from almost all sides. I’ve heard the war stories from grey-haired men, their hands worn from years of work but their eyes still full of courage. I’ve seen my own family members give up time spent with children and parents and wives so they can train and serve our country. I’ve seen PTSD claim the life of one soldier and wept with his family as they laid him to rest. But I haven’t seen the military life from the most important side of all: living it.
I don’t know what it’s like to make these sacrifices. I don’t know what it’s like to patrol war-torn streets. I don’t know what it’s like to work until my body feels like it can’t work anymore, only to work some more. And if I’m being honest? I don’t want to know. I would much rather keep my 8-5 work schedule and be relatively certain that I’ll come home every night, thank you very much.
I don’t know what it’s like to serve in the military, and I never will. But I do know that these men and women, these courageous heroes, they deserve our respect and our gratitude. They deserve to know that we see them and that we care about what they have given up for us. They deserve to be thanked, not just today but every day.
But today is the day we dedicate to them, so I will say it loud and clear and proudly and with a lump in my throat: to everyone who has ever served our country, THANK YOU.
Thank you to those who have served, are serving, and will serve. Thank you to the families who support them and sacrifice with them. Just, thank you.
What can you do today to thank a veteran? Do you have any veterans in your family? Will you take time today to pray for these brave men and women?