On this, the observance of Veterans Day, I would like to say thank you.
I want to start by saying 'thank you' to the legions of men and women who have given of themselves in service to this country. Thank you to the souls who never come home from duty. Thank you to the souls who do come home, but are forever changed. Thank you to the families who sacrifice while their loved ones defend my rights and my freedoms.
Personally, I want to thank my father who spent 30 years in the reserves. While as a child, I noticed your absence on that one weekend a month and two weeks a year, it was a minor sacrifice to have the rights that I enjoy and take for granted. Being a member of the 109th Airlift Wing was so very important to you. I am so proud of the work you did and the roles you played in some important missions.
I want to thank my grandfather, who came home from battle, but fought internally for the rest of his too brief life. He fought in the Pacific Theater, taking part in some of the most horrific battles of the war. He was never able to talk about what he went through, and that weight was too much for him to carry.
My father-in-law, although I never met him, always took pride in his role in the 2nd Berlin Airdrop. Serving his country allowed him his education, which pulled his family out of poverty and has personally afforded my husband and I our lifestyle.
I want to thank my uncle who not only gave 2 tours, but a lifetime in the reserves. The military was a good fit, and he became a top-ranked drill Sargent. If only his drill-ees could see him with his grandchildren now...
I want to thank my brother, who does not get to tuck his children into bed each night. Who cannot attend the school plays or read to his children. And to my sister-in-law, who soldiers on at home. She would not want to take credit, but she is as much of a warrior as her husband. But for much less pay.
I want to thank my cousin and his new bride, thankful they have a few more weeks together before she deploys to Afghanistan for a year.
In this day and age of American entitlement, I want you to know that we are not entitled to all that we have. It has been hard fought and won for us by the men and women who serve their country. I want thank all those men and women who give of themselves in ways that I am not strong enough to. To those who leave their lives, their souls, their limbs, their sanity on the battlefield...your sacrifice is noted and appreciated.