Today, this post is about a special group of people. No sales pitch, just our gratitude!
The American flag waving in the breeze!
Soul-stirring music and videos that grab the heart.
Walking past the window display of US military recruiting offices.
Videos of soldiers arriving back home to surprise their loved ones.
Pride in having worn a soldier’s uniform.
Pride in three sons, my wife, two brothers, three brother-in-laws, my dad, 3 uncles, my father-in-law, and both grandfathers for having served honorably in the militaries of either the United States or the United Kingdom. Their service has covered World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, both Gulf wars and Afghanistan.
These are just some of the things that I appreciate about Veteran’s Day. Here in America, we remember those who have died on Memorial Day at the end of May each year. On November 11 though, we remember ALL who have faithfully served or are currently serving.
Freedom is NEVER free and everything has a price. Some had to pay the ultimate price with their lives and are even buried on foreign soil far from their homes and their loved ones.
Every strange number that showed up on the caller ID in the dead of night or the lack of a phone call for days or weeks jars the senses with the reality that the next one coming home in a metal casket could be your own flesh and blood.
While I was born in England, I am a dual citizen. I am blessed beyond measure to live in this great country. Do we have problems and turmoil? Yes, we do. Do we agree with everybody, including our own neighbors? No, we do not.
However, at the end of the day, I get to leave work knowing I will get paid a decent wage for what I do. Each evening, I get to go home with the knowledge that the lights and heat will be on and there will be food on the table. Every morning, I am able to get up and not worry about whether foreign troops will assault my family in some way. Every day, I am able to get in my vehicle that I pay for and travel freely to any part of the USA that I wish to visit without having to bribe border guards.
I have lived in several countries in Europe as well as in West Africa. I know what it means to have little or no freedom. I know the fear and trepidation that comes from wondering whether I might make it home without being assaulted.
Why do we get to enjoy these things here in America?
Because of our Veterans!
You were willing to go to those other countries and face conflicts that you could not imagine. You were willing to put on a uniform that is hated by many, including the people you were called to protect. You were willing to sign on the line that says, “I hereby promise to protect America and her people, even if it means giving my life.”
You were willing to say goodbye to your wife, your husband, your children, or your parents and give them the promise through your tears and theirs that you would be back! You had no guarantee you would be back, but you said it anyway. We listened to the promise and prayed fervently for that promise to be fulfilled, but we knew.
Our hearts wept for the loss of each family when another planeload of caskets landed back in America, but we stood to attention whenever we saw the American draped casket that reminded us that one more veteran was being laid to rest. One more veteran who was a hero in the hearts of family and those who know and understand what honor and integrity means.
America, when you go out today and see that veteran at the restaurant, do them a favor. Square your shoulders, step up and with a hug or a firm handshake, thank them for what they did on our behalf. They will normally respond with the answer they are taught to give, “Thank you for your support.”
But don’t stop there.
Pause to get their attention and tell them again, “No, thank you is not enough, but it is the least that you deserve for being willing to put it all on the line for people like me that you do not know!”
Happy Veteran’s Day and a special THANK YOU from your friends at RE/MAX Capitol Properties!