I was sitting in my office after a long day at work. Tired, irritable and hungry, I reached my limit and began packing up. I couldn’t wait one more minute to get home, take a hot shower, order my favorite takeout, pop open a bottle of wine and spend time with friends and loved ones.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…
I wonder how many soldiers say that everyday but instead stay at work and on guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Making their way through the desert, carrying their own body weight in equipment, blinded by hot pellets of storming sand that melt their skin where it hits…until nightfall when they get to lay wet in trenches, bugs crawling in their ears, rifles in the ready position with monsters laying in wait, hunting them as prey.
I don’t even have a frame of reference to fully understand what this must be like…unless you count that time I stayed at the Comfort Inn in Virginia Beach. But even that or the most horrible thing we can experience in a day at work or even in our lives hardly gives us the basis to fully grasp their sacrifice.
So we say thank you…but do we even really know what we’re thanking them for? We can’t possibly know.
We sit at home in our extreme comfort and convenience; demanding our rights and our liberties. But those things are costly and we, as individuals, are rarely prepared or willing to part with the currency to pay for them. But we demand them anyway and there are a courageous group of men and women who say to us, “No problem, take it, take all you want…we’ll pay.” They’re like the sugar daddies and sugar mamas of freedom…but better because we don’t have to give anything in exchange.
But their families do. Think of the newlywed solider who leaves his bride’s bedside to give himself to 248 million mistresses. Think of the soldier who leaves her infant at home to fight for the 248 million children of her neighbors. Those families hold it DOWN for the soldiers until they return.
So, when you say Happy Veteran’s Day, really say it. Don’t let a person in military uniform walk by you without saying thank you, not today or any day of the year. If they sit next to you at a restaurant, pay for their meal. If you see them at the gas station, pump their gas for them. If I see one that’s particularly cute, I make out with him for a few minutes in the men’s room…maybe even his cute friend. So what if she’s a girl?
All I’m saying is look for meaningful and sincere ways to say Thank You to the honorable, courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Get their back cuz they damn sure got ours.