By in Personal

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.

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Image Credit » GingerQuip PublicDomain CCO License via Pixabay

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Ellis wrote on November 11, 2014, 8:35 AM

Wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed here. Thank you.

iwrite28 wrote on November 11, 2014, 8:39 AM

I saw a lovely video on YouTube that showed an airport with people sitting around. Then one person stood up and started clapping. Soon everyone was clapping. Then we finally see what they are applauding: It is a group of army men and women -- who looked thoroughly bemused, but pleased.

Feisty56 wrote on November 11, 2014, 8:47 AM

Awesome! Unfortunately that recognition happens too infrequently while the veterans are in uniform and often not at all after the uniform has served its purpose.

Feisty56 wrote on November 11, 2014, 12:21 PM

No, not bad at all. : )

WordChazer wrote on November 11, 2014, 2:24 PM

Yes, the families have a hard time of it too, sometimes. Being apart from your husband/wife/dad/mom that long can't be easy.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 11, 2014, 3:09 PM

We owe our military heroes so much, and their families, too.

carmela wrote on November 11, 2014, 7:41 PM

these veterans are heroes. they gave up certain parts of their lives so that civilians like me could live freely and peacefully.

BarbRad wrote on November 12, 2014, 2:44 AM

We certainly do need to remember the families, as well as those who are deployed. One book I read about these military families was very enlightening about what happens to some of the families of the deployed.

AliCanary wrote on November 12, 2014, 12:47 PM

I come from a family of veterans--grandfather, father, uncles and at least one aunt, brother-in-law and one niece's husband. All of the time and work and danger these men and women put in are to be admired and appreciated with the utmost gratitude.

FourWalls wrote on November 12, 2014, 2:41 PM

Sailors volunteer to live on a ship in an 8 x 5 bunk with no privacy for anything (from showering to eating), staying out at sea for 3-6 months (in peacetime -- much longer if there's a conflict). They're on duty 24/7/365. And all of that for about two bucks an hour. Yeah, the Navy life was the life for me.

It's been a tough Veterans Day, with more and more people using the day to express their rage at veterans. It's nice to see some kind words for us. Thanks for the post.

tinamarie wrote on November 14, 2014, 7:31 PM

This is a wonderful post! I so agree with your post. I come from a long line of military men... my great grandfather, my grandfather, my father, my brother, my cousin and more. It's painstakingly amazing what these men and women and their families go through in their daily lives. Thank you for acknowledging their life devotion to the efforts in keeping everyone safe. And to the ones that are left at home.