30 Days of Thanks: Day 11

Today I am thankful for…veterans.

On Veteran’s Day it is extremely important to remember the men and women and their families who have given all that they have – their strength, their honor, their babies’ birthdays, their innocence, their time with family, their lives – in service to this great land. I have a grandfather who fought in World War II, uncles who served and fought in Vietnam, an old high school friend who flew planes for the Navy in Bosnia and the Middle East, a friend who served in Operation Desert Storm, and countless friends and acquaintances who have loved ones serving in the current Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. And, thank God, I have been lucky enough to see each of these people in my life come home. I pray that those who are still overseas return home safely soon.

As a mother, I can’t even imagine how military wives and husbands say goodbye to their spouses and raise families alone, all the while under the cloud of fear and doubt that must be ever-present. The last time peanut and I flew this spring, there were several soldiers heading back out to Afghanistan and Iraq on our flight. I cried hearing the stories they told. One described meeting his son when he was 15 months old. Meeting them. Totally missing the baby stage and meeting his child when he was already walking. I couldn’t imagine. It is a monumental sacrifice and one that I truly appreciate. I feel that saying thank you is such an inadequate expression of gratitude.

But thank you. Thank you for putting your life on the line to defend our freedoms, to defend the defenseless in our world, to protect all that we take for granted. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I remember, I acknowledge and I thank you.

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