I love Veterans Day, not because all my friends and family are extra nice to me but because for a short amount of time all of America’s attention is focused on showing gratitude to those who have served. There are so many who haven’t served and don’t have family members who served who just plain forget, who just don’t think about it. I love seeing all the thank you messages flying around Twitter and Facebook on days like today.
So what is there to say that hasn’t been said? Probably not a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth saying again. I want to thank every one of you who has served, past or present, for putting yourself, and often your family, second for our nation. Whether you’re in combat, cooking up meals, or somewhere in between, everyone who has served, has sacrificed in one way or another and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Saturday night at the Marine Corps Ball, as I sat listening to the jokes and stories I couldn’t help but think back on my time in uniform. I got to meet people from all over the world, with all different beliefs, backgrounds, and stories. I got to travel around the country and across the world. Granted, Afghanistan didn’t go quite like I had planned but for me it’s turned into one of the greatest blessings in my life.
I have made friends who literally have exchanged fire with the enemies of our country. I know men and women who sacrifice all personal comforts for the safety of others. I know fathers who have missed the births of their children. Spouses who have missed birthdays and anniversaries. I’ve walked and served with men who laid their lives down to directly save mine. Is it ever possible to say thank you enough to the men and women who take these risks by choice? I don’t think so. No matter how many times I say thank you it will never feel like enough.
It is an honor to be able to say that I served with the finest men and women this country can produce. I’m blessed to still have many of them as friends today. I miss being able to wear the uniform and being part of the shenanigans that so often accompany TACP’s everywhere they go but I know that whether I’m in a uniform or not I am part of a brotherhood that will always welcome me as one of their own. It’s an honor to be a TACP.
God bless all those who have served and are serving this country. You have set the example for future generations to follow.
This is a picture I took of the members of 3rd Platoon on one of our foot patrols west of Kandahar. God bless guys.