Take A Moment And Thank A Veteran Today
It’s just a few words, thank you for your service. To you, it might be an inadequate way of showing gratitude for someone who has put their life on the line for your freedom, but to that veteran it means a whole lot.
Both my grandfathers served in the military, one in the Air Force and the other in the Marines. My mom’s dad, who was in the Air Force, passed away when I was three so I remember very little about him.
My dad’s dad was a Marine who served in World War II. He was stationed over in Japan and received several medals. He had them in a display frame in his room and I asked him once to explain them to me. He did but I can’t remember what he said for the life of me. It doesn’t matter though, because I know the things he did and the sacrifices he made. I know that it changed him forever and that he absolutely refused to see Saving Private Ryan because he was afraid of the memories it would bring back.
He passed away in 2006, just a few days after his 51st wedding anniversary. My mom and I went down to the local VFW to see if someone would be able to play Taps at his funeral. We met a man there who didn’t know my grandpa at all but he was going to make sure we had someone at his burial to pay tribute to his military service.
As we got up to leave I simply said “thank you for your service sir.” His expression told me he hadn’t heard those words very often and especially from someone my age. I could see it touched my mom as well.
To me, it’s the right thing to do. Too often we forget about the sacrifices they have to make in order to keep us free. If you do nothing else on Veteran’s Day, a simple thanks just might mean the world to our heroes.