11 November 2008

Thank a Vet

For those not in the know, today is Veteran's Day. For most it will mean a day off or maybe just reduced traffic for those whose employers require them to work. They might notice the blurbs on the morning news show or maybe even see a few more flags flown than normal, but for the most part they will be oblivious of the significance of this 11th day of the 11th month of the year. They will go about their business of enjoying the freedoms that go along with being a citizen of the greatest country on the planet. To them, it's just another day.

For some it will be a time to reminisce of their time in uniform. They will remember how their time in the military forever changed them and wonder what a life would have been like had they not taken the oath to defend their country. They might participate in a parade in their honor or tell a classroom of what it was like to land at Normandy, hit a hot LZ in the Mi Cong Delta, jump a jet off the deck of a carrier in the Persian Gulf, or man a turret on a patrol through a street in Baghdad. They might wear a hat emblazed with their branch of service or maybe stick a small flag pin on the lapel of their jacket but you won’t get a lot of bravado or gloating from this group. Only they know what they have given, and only those who have served with them can truly understand the meanings of words like sacrifice, duty and honor. They didn’t do what they did to receive thanks on a day like today, but they appreciate it nonetheless when it is given with heartfelt sincerity. Their days of service are behind them, some by many years, and for the most part, today is just another day.

For others they will be getting out of bed, putting on their flight suit, picking up a rifle or hefting body armor and go about their business. They will not think of themselves as heroes or defenders of freedom. They don’t need to. They walk the walk. The reason for doing what they do is so ingrained in them that they might not even realize what today is besides another 24 hours of doing their job. To them, it’s just another day.

The fact of the matter is today is not just another day. It is a day to honor veterans of all branches of service and thank them for doing all that they have done for us and our country. The first group of people needs to be reminded of the significance of this day and of the people it honors. The second group needs to be thanked and showed appreciation of the sacrifices they endured for freedom. The final group needs prayers. Yes, they need to be thanked as well, but they need as much divine intervention as they can get in order to muscle through some difficult times and situations that they are facing.

Show your appreciation today by volunteering at the local VA hospital, visiting a family who has a loved one deployed, or just flying the American flag. Whatever you do to go about your day, thank a vet, pray for our troops, and be thankful for those who have given so much for the freedom you enjoy today.

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