Service is Beautiful

Veterans Day is officially recognized on the 11th day of November in the U.S.  However, today is the day when it’s “observed” for the purposes of giving people a day off work.  So many people enjoy the day off without thinking about its meaning… 

A Heavy Price for Service:  People who answer their country’s call (whether voluntarily or by not choosing not to avoid mandatory service) all do so at some personal cost.  Thousands have been lost in the wars our country has waged.  Despite your personal beliefs about the various conflicts the U.S. has been involved in, it’s important to remember the sacrifices made.  Over 600,000 U.S. service members have died serving our country in wars since World War I.  Countless more returned with serious injuries that changes their lives forever.

Some Gave All, All Gave Some:  Every single member of the U.S. military in the post-Vietnam era has chosen to serve their country.  Almost without exception, this means time spent away from family,  moving from place to place regularly (often on very short notice, rarely with very little choice as to where you’re going), and other hardships most will never know.  It’s not an easy lifestyle.  (I did it for 10 years is some of the easiest circumstances possible, and it was still challenging at times.)

“Service Before Self”:  That’s a catch-phrase used by the military.  It pretty much sums up what’s expected.  However, what people may not realize is that you’re not only making that choice for yourself.  Families pay the price too.  Spouses face the prospect of having to live the life of a single parent at a moment’s notice when their spouse is deployed.  Birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are missed.  Some people don’t even get to share the joy of giving birth to a child with their spouse.

Thank You, Veterans:  For those who came before me, and for those who served beside me:  Thank You.  Your willingness to serve sets you apart and your sacrifices are appreciated.

 

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