Like so many, I posted thank you messages on my social media this morning. I sent text messages to friends who are either active duty, or veterans to personally thank them for their service. I even got up at 5:00 AM to do the CrossFit workout “Murph” (look it up) in remembrance of those who lost their lives defending my freedom. And yet, I can’t help but feel selfish to think that those acknowledgements can properly express the appreciation I have for our veterans and active soldiers.
I didn’t grow up around the armed forces; my grandfather fought in the Korean War (pictured above on the left welcoming my great-uncle home after being a POW), but he never talked about his time in the military. I didn’t even know he was awarded a Silver Star for his bravery in battle until he passed away. Without firsthand knowledge of the sacrifice our veterans and their families made, I never fully appreciated my rights and freedom. It wasn’t until I befriended a fellow CrossFitter who is in the National Guard that I gained a true appreciation for the sacrifices our armed forces make for us. During his time with the Guard my friend has served 4 tours in the Middle East. As I learned about his tours, I realized that not only did he put his life on the line, but he sacrificed time away from his family.
Birthdays missed. Holidays missed. Milestones missed.
Fortunately, my friend returned from each of his tours, but as we know that is not always the case.
There is nothing more valuable than the time I get to spend with my family. I can’t imagine missing first steps and first words, Christmas pageants, ball games, or just something as simple as the four of us laying on the couch watching a movie. So, to all of the veterans that may find this, thank you not only for risking your life, but for also for sacrificing the day to day events we take for granted to protect our freedom.
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