What does it mean to serve your country with military service? I don’t know; I didn’t serve. I am not the spouse, lover, parent, sibling, or child of an active service member. I don’t know. But I wanted to say…
To Members of the Military, Past and Present:
Thank you, for signing up. Thank you for your youthful exuberance, belief in an ideal, whatever it was that prompted you to take on this solemn and sometimes, unbearably difficult job.
Thank you, for learning at least one new culture, for submitting to a new set of rules, and for rising to challenges.
Thank you, for your courage when it came naturally, and thank you especially for your courage when it was hard to find.
Thank you for looking out for each other.
Thank you for your honor and goodness, especially in a time of war.
Thank you for fighting for us when you believed in the cause. Thank you for fighting for us when you were unsure.
Thank you for going into hot, cold, wet, dry, cramped, miserable, dangerous places to do your job.
Thank you for your years, your friends, your mental peace, and all that you carry with you.
Thank you for your bodies and your lives. I hope we honor your sacrifice with the kind of country we strive to make and uphold.
Thank you, moms and dads, for raising able Americans willing to serve.
Thank you for your sons and daughters.
Thank you for their service and the worry, tears, and fear that must go through a parent’s mind and heart.
May we honor the grief and anguish suffered when children do not return whole.
Thank you, children, for your daddy or mommy. Your sacrifice is not your choice, but it is still yours.
Thank you, brothers and sisters, for comfort and support.
Thank you, lovers, wives and husbands, for raising kids without your partner, for trying to keep young kids connected to their deployed parent, for trying to keep yourself connected.
Thank you for your strength and your weakness.
Thank you for supporting each other.
Thank you for loving a soldier.