Are you one of the many men and women who have served our country in the military? Have you stood bravely with your comrades on the battlefield? Or courageously performed in supportive or commanding roles?
Wherever you’ve been stationed and in whatever capacity you’ve served, I join the millions who stand humbly in your presence. I have no words big enough to express my thanks, but I’ll give it my best effort. Let me start by saying…
You are my hero.
I don’t know your story, but I’ve benefited from your courage. Your sacrifice began the day you pledged to defend our nation’s honor. Although you knew fighting our enemies would be terrifying, you stepped forward. And you stayed in the fight, despite the horrors of war, defending me and those I love.
I (and a grateful America) would like to express our gratitude to your family as well – your parents, spouse, and children who lie awake night after night worrying and praying for your safety.
You, the family, have sacrificed too. You’ve demonstrated your own brand of courage and endurance as you’ve kept the home. You’ve pressed forward one day at a time without your loved one by your side, always waiting until the day he or she would return. For some of you, your service took a different turn when your spouse or child arrived home suffering from PTSD or other life-altering challenges. And some of your heroic loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice for which we can never express our gratitude deeply enough.
But I’ll say it again anyway. Thank you.
I wish there were no wars. I hate how war divides us, causing nations to turn against each other. Perhaps someday we’ll learn to resolve our conflicts in more peaceful ways. While I wish wars weren’t part of our world, I understand why we have them. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be people seeking to take away our freedoms and conquer our nation.
Thankfully, there are men and women like you who love our country and have the integrity and fortitude to defend her. You’ve embodied John 15:13 (ESV): “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
I (and millions of others) owe you a great debt. May we never take your service for granted.
Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Star: Thanks to our veterans and their families