While I did not participate in any memorial services directly this weekend, I always take the time to reflect on what we have here in this beautiful country and who to thank for it. Our veterans, and our active service personnel who give so graciously of their lives and time to preserve the lifestyle we enjoy and many times take for granted here in the USA.
I make a personal salute to my family members who have chosen to serve. Most recently my nephews, Alan, Adam and Aaron, their father Ron, a former pilot of the F-117, A-1 and so many other aircraft I don’t remember, you have my utmost respect and admiration. You make us proud, gentlemen. To my uncle Bob, a Korean war vet, and his son Robert who still serves. To my uncle Jack, recently deceased and his lovely wife Barbara. While Barbara was not active military, she was one of the MANY civilians who support our troops with their civil service. My Uncle Harold, whose stories of teaching survival swimming while smoking a cigar always fascinated me. To my Grandfather Glenn, who never talked much about WWII and his service, his time fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He had some memorabilia which was really cool to a young boy going through the old basement gun cabinet. And last, but certainly not least, to my Father, Dale, whose military service I had the privilege of seeing first hand when he was in the reserves after active service in Korea. I am quite sure the discipline of hard work and routine lives with me still.
There are more I know. Several cousins, and children of cousins who serve today or are vets now. I just have not stayed in touch enough to know you personally, but I thank you nonetheless!
I also want to take a moment to thank the spouses of these fine men and women. The unspoken, unseen veterans of service who have kept the home fires burning, the kids in line, the memories alive while their partners leave for deployment. It is heart rending I am sure, I can only imagine the sacrifice you have made as well.
To these and all of our countries active service personnel and veterans, I applaud your service, your efforts to maintain our safety. I also want to say I am sorry, I apologize that you need to go at all. I pledge to work for peace so you no longer need to make these sacrifices. We all need to work to make this service unneeded and pray that the reasons you are sent to do battle are for the right reasons, your sacrifice is far to precious to be squandered and forgotten.