I know this should have gone up yesterday, but yesterday wasn’t Veteran’s Day and today is. Yesterday it also didn’t carry quite the same weight that it does today. Today is the day that in the US we will be thanking all of those who have served for the sacrifices that they made, make, and will make for the freedom we all enjoy.
1. Each and every man and woman who has ever served. It is a sacrifice and life choice that is often hard to understand. Many times I’ve seen those who have enlisted or commissioned maligned as not having a sense of self or needing to be told exactly what to do every time, or as a killer of innocents. Nothing could be further from the truth. The people who I have met as part of the military family are all individuals with strong feelings on many subjects. They rarely all agree. But they have all chosen to put their country first and their own wants and needs second.
2. Each and every person who has ever sent a loved one off to war. The military spouses club is not a hard one to gain entry too. But there’s a reason it’s considered remarkable to make it through military service with the same spouse that you entered it with. Long deployments, constant moves, the forever unknown of what could come tomorrow.
3. The repealing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I am so, so incredibly thankful that all of those in our military are now free to be who they are. I’m grateful that they don’t have to hide part of themselves for fear of losing their job. I am proud of each and every one of them who has chosen to serve despite the military telling them they couldn’t tell. But I am more proud of our country’s leaders for finally doing away with such an archaic rule.
4. For all the amazing men and women that are now part of my military family. They get it. Whether they’re over here with us or stationed far away, they understand. They know what the waiting is like, what the distance is like, and how hard it can all be. They’re the ones who call you when your husband is gone and invite you to dinner even without him. It’s in the little things. They make this journey less lonely, less arduous, less scary.
5. My hero, my love, my B. Yesterday we received B’s release date from his current program. The special program that meant lots of time together and no deployments. The one that gave us over a year of marriage without the extra stress. As of Monday he’ll resume working on a regular basis. In just over a month he will return to his normal duties and become deployment eligible again. He’s a kind, smart, funny, and surprisingly gentle man and I am so thankful to be his wife and to support him as he serves our country.
Happy Veterans Day. Today I’m thankful for a country full of men and women willing to live out the knowledge that freedom isn’t free.