A Civilian Salute to the Veterans and Their Families
Today when the nation is focused on gratitude for those who serve and those who have served, and everyday, when the focus has shifted, I give silent thanks to the veterans and to their families.
Our men and women in uniform may be unsung heroes -- and they are -- but the sacrifices of their families both before and after active service is just as real, even if not on a battleground of war.
Whether military service has been voluntary or conscription, the service is the same: Time spent away from home, job, family and friends. The potential to give up life so that others may live in a nation beloved.
Parents see their grown children off to what may be parts unknown. Siblings say goodbye for what may be the last time -- or the last time before a wounded brother or sister returns, but never the same as before. Wives, husbands, partners, children wait at home, patiently and impatiently. Lives are disrupted.
Military service may mean being on the front lines in some country far from home or it may mean the realization that such a call to duty may come at any moment.
Thankfully, many more of those in military duty live after wounds that in the past would have meant certain death. The other side of this coin, though, is that survival doesn't mean returning whole, either mentally or physically. Long after the uniform has been worn for the last time, the lasting effects of military service is a reality for the veterans and those who love them.
"Thank you" is inadequate, but it is all I have -- and I mean it as sincerely as you meant your oath of service.
Image Credit » GingerQuip PublicDomain CCO License via Pixabay http://pixabay.com/en/thank-you-thanks-card-message-note-515514/