How many of you know someone who has served this country? I am sure you all do. These are the men and women, past and present, who have given up their freedoms to protect ours.
My gratitude for the military is beyond words to express. I really have a hard time verbalizing my gratitude, my respect, admiration and utter love for this population.
The ones that… during the draft of Vietnam, watched the old black and white TV in their parents living room sat scared shitless as their number was drawn. Could you imagine this feeling? I can’t. Or while the love of your life, your son, husband, boyfriend, nephews number was drawn. Imagine.
And to the women that nursed these men back to the best health they had the ability to. For the women that served this country on the sidelines, seeing the blood and guts while hearing the same things the men did in the trenches. The smell of gasoline, the feeling of blood and the loss of a friend.
Or the ones that came home ready for a ticker tape parade and instead being spit on. Pride in their hearts and pain in their soul.
Or the ones that received the word that their child, spouse or friend had given it all for the betterment of our lives at home. Imagine.
These are the 18 year old boys (not old enough to drink legally) that say, “Sign me up. I mean I don’t have a better option. My folks are poor, I wasn’t given the opportunity to go to college, I live in a small town and don’t wanna work at the gas station, so I think I will sign up for a job that feeds me three meals, gives me a bed and pays me less than minimum wage.”
Or the ones that decided, “After college, I will commit to continued excellence by now, giving at least four more years to the betterment of this country and the men and women in the military. I want to develop leaders by being a leader.”
Or the girl that thought, “I can do this. I will show them, I will prove to myself and to the world, that I am strong, that I matter, that I am enough to fight for this country.”
Or the ones that courageously said Post 9-11, “SIGN ME UP! I am proud and honored to protect this country from an attack of this impact.” Without looking at any details of the attack or the governments involvement, they said without a blink of an eye, “I will serve, I will commit my life, I will forge forward and I will make a difference.”
Or the woman that says, “Go, my love. I will support you. I will be here when you return with my arms wide open, ready for your return, no matter the impact it has on you, me, or our family. I will love you if you return without a limb, return with a tremendous amount of stress in your mind, and the inability to connect for…a while.”
Or the parent that accepts with pride as they watch their son or daughter get on that bus and drive away for bootcamp, knowing that there is the possibility that this little person they grew in their womb and in their homes would be able to hold a gun, fight for our country and lose their life.
(Alan Jackson’s Song, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” just came on Pandora…Thank you for the confirmation of my inspiration this am)
Or the child that watches, possibly unaware, of why Mommy or Daddy is leaving again. Smiling, they hug them, giggling they squeeze their neck while the parent holds back the tears to be strong for their family. “See you soon, baby. Daddy will be back before you know it.”
I will forever and ever and ever, admire, respect and SUPPORT our military. Despite political opinions, sex, race, sexual preference, SES, education…THANK YOU!
How can we serve them? How can we give them back a teaspoon of what they give and gave us?
I am committing to serving them right now. I will volunteer my time and career to serving this population of people. Whether by listening to their stories, connecting them to services or holding their hands. Whether supporting the families at home while their loved ones are away, or contacting our government officials to discuss the benefits they deserve…I will serve them. Whether by researching and making forward progress into treatment modalities that will assist them in processing their experiences and leading successful post-war lives, I will serve them.
The ones that DESERVE TO BE SERVED…I AM COMMITTED TO YOUR SUCCESS.
Thank you Poppy for your service to this country. You are my hero.