Dear Scott, Jerry, Karl, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Jimmy, Uncle Randy, Uncle Mike,
I love you. And today I want to say thank you. Thank you for believing in this gorgeous, amazing country enough to want to defend it. Thank you for believing in our constitution and freedoms enough to want to defend them. Thank you for putting yourself on the line time and time again so that I can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors. It is no small task to serve in the armed forces. Leaving behind loved ones to go fight in a war or conflict simply because your country is requesting it of you is nothing short of heroic. Though, it is cool that some of you can literally fly. Let's be honest here.
To the wives of the above (Christy, Sara, Chrysta, Mom, et. al),
Maybe a bigger thank you? It's hard to decide who deserves it the most. The men who put their lives in harms way or the women who bravely stand aside and let them do what they feel is their duty. The women who manage to keep house and home together so that when The Soldier returns he has a soft place to fall. I've been blessed to watch some of you through these days, weeks, months and years of deployments. I've seen as you've come through them with grace and, most astonishingly, a deeper conviction of the rightness of your partner's path. The days are certainly not easy, and the nights are absolutely harder. The questions from children, the tears of goodbyes. You bear it all because YOU BELIEVE. You believe in your spouses' ability to effect real change in the lives of others. The sacrifice you make is equal in greatness, and I just don't think you will ever receive enough thanks.
To the Armed Forces at Large,
Thank you. I don't know you and you don't know me. But we have this great country in common. And when I see you in the airport I have to hold myself back from hugging you, my gratitude is so overwhelming. And, you know, that would probably be awkward for everyone. But really, if I could send each you a pan of brownies (and I make REALLY good brownies) I would do it. Because you deserve it.
In my home we really believe in super heroes. Some wear capes, and some just happen to wear Camo.
Edited to add: You can see some great pics of my military family at my SIL Christy's (aka SUPER TROOPER MOM) blog here. She's got my bros, bro-in-law and dad. All current or former military.