A departure from what I normally write about, today compels me to stop and acknowledge this day. Veterans’ Day. Veterans Day. Regardless of punctuation, this is an important day because of what it represents. A select group of individuals who at one point in their lives stepped forward to say, I will do something for more than myself, I will protect the greater good, I will defend my homeland, I will sacrifice myself for others, people I may not even know. This gift each Veteran gives to us all is one of the largest heartfelt things and the immensity of the gratitude I feel is hard to put into words.
You don’t have to support war or the government or the commander-in-chief. What you do have to be able to see is the selflessness it takes to join the military and the strength of character it takes to serve in it. Not all Veterans were volunteers, though today those in uniform are volunteering their skills, their time and their lives. Their families pay into the gift.
So politics aside, thank a Veteran. If you know one, hug a Veteran. If you forgot today, do it tomorrow. Do it always. We may never be able to walk in their boots, but we can trust that they are walking for us.
I say this because it’s true, it’s the right thing to do, and because I can personally say that I appreciate it when someone says “Thank you for serving.” It’s been years since I last wore my uniform, but I am reminded of the greatness of the people I had the honor to serve with. To all of my fellow Veterans, past and present, those still in the military and the military families, thank you!!