I remember taking the ASVAB in high school and recruiters calling me afterwards to join code breakers... apparently I showed aptitude for patterns. Goooo super ADD powers! 😂
A short time later, the curiosity got to me and I went to the Marine recruiting place with questions. They showed me a video of boot camp. I thanked them for their time and never looked back. (I mean, it's called the crucible!) I learned from that video, though, to have great respect for people who CAN do those things and I defended their honor to naysayers whenever I could.
September 11th happened and I knew deep inside that I didn't have the grit to do what others did so easily. I watched as people committed themselves to something bigger than themselves, to ideals bigger than themselves. I felt shame. But like many others, I lived with it silently. Again, though, my respect for the military members grew.
In 2006, my wife and I visited Bastogne, Belgium, the site of some of the worst fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. All over the town are memorials to sheroes and heroes. There were active duty military and their families everywhere, veterans...
I wondered if somewhere in the crowd was a person returning to the place where they fought long ago. My shoes stepped in the same mud as they once did long ago. And my respect for the military service member continued to grow.
After years and years of seeing everything that our military service members have sacrificed, the sacrifice they continue to make, and the sacrifices yet to be made, I continue to be humbled.
Thank you, dear Veteran. Every day, thank you.
Especially to my dear friends and family...
And, finally, to the young man I saw at Landstuhl hospital in Germany, connected to so many machines as they rushed him into the hospital from an ambulance, thank you and I hope you made it.