interactive map with registered events. Check it out for a place near you.
Our oldest son and his wife served during the recent Iraq war. He was in the Marines and did convoy duty, she was in the Navy. My grandfather served during WWII, and my uncle served during the Korean War. In all of these service years, my relatives were fortunate to come home alive. Though both my grandfather and uncle have now passed, I feel privileged to have known them and known a little about their service.
I came of age during the Vietnam War. Many of my high school friends were drafted, some never came home. Some who came home were never the same. So you can imagine when our oldest son went to Iraq I was scared to death--scared he would die, scared he would come home a shadow of his former self, scared he would come home okay but a cynic about life.
Fortunately, none of those things happened. Did it change him? Sure. All wars cause change. One cannot watch a colleague die and not be affected by it or be filled with questions about life and death, responsibility and duty. Both he and his wife found a way to use their experiences--good and bad-- to move forward in life and to be thankful for those things they have at home like family and friends and the abundance we are so fortunate to have in our country.
I don't always agree with our country's decisions about going to war. I don't always agree with the choices our political leaders make in the direction our country should move or the way in which congress sometimes acts or doesn't act. However, I always admire those who serve our country and their families who wait behind and continue to support them. It is a difficult mission on both sides, one that requires dedication and faith and hope. I am honored to have known so many who have made these choices, and I am humbled by the strength of their families both while the service members are away and when they come home and have to readjust to civilian life.
I hope you find a way to say thank you tomorrow, whether at a public event or in private. It does mean something. Take a moment to show support.