At this time of year I like to thank my father and those like him who served their country. To these people we owe so much more than a single day to mutter a passing “Happy veterans day” while we go shopping for sales. I prefer to take the time to remember what we as family members missed in our lives and what they gave up to serve their country.
They choose to serve for many individual reasons so that we may use our freedoms for entirely different ones. They bleed so that we don’t have to. They leave family and friends to serve a greater cause than many will ever know. Those who decry the military and their tactics can only do so because of the protection that military provides. Those who protest may never understand the sacrifices involved for their freedom of speech. How I wish they could fathom the toll upon families missing their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. Men and woman willing to miss out on raising their children, missing holidays and milestones. Missing the smiles, giggles and tears, returning as strangers–trying to start again, scared and scarred inside and out.
Their service costs more than most will know for a freedom that most will take for granted. For that I say thank you to my dad and all the others, for your service and sacrifice, here and abroad.