An Insufficient Thank You
I wrote this post four years ago, and to be honest, I'm tempted to repost it because so much of what I wrote then still holds true today. (Go read it if you haven't already.)
One thing has changed since then though. While I do know several people who have served, I've met them during civilian times, after their service. As with anyone, their history and the path they traveled on before your paths crossed, is something they carry with them, but it can be easy to separate the two because you never witnessed it. Somehow, somewhere, sometime between then and now, I met someone who is currently serving in the military and through him I've learned more about the military, the demands, the details (the ones that can be shared at least) that come with being in the army, which makes Veteran's Day more personal for me this year. Things like overnight shifts, and missing holidays, and classified information (curiosity might truly be the end of me one day), and upcoming deployments. I always knew those things were real, but to actually hear about them one on one...completely different experience.
To him and all those who have served, are serving and will serve: Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for the safety you provide me and others. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to actually see and hear the first hand experience. Thank you is insufficient in so many ways, but it's a start. Your courage and bravery is not lost on me.