Honoring Those Who Serve and Sacrifice

I’m moving too fast. We probably all are.

As the weather begins to cool, I realize that the day we honor soldiers who have served faithfully and dutifully is nearly here. And then I wonder if I’ve taken enough time to reflect. To show my appreciation. Have I – at the very least – donated enough money to veterans associations to help ensure that our veterans and their families are properly supported when they need it?

The answer is usually, embarrassingly, no.

One of my colleagues has a family filled with soldiers. Every generation from his grandparents to his nephews, his immediate family to his in-laws, have all spent time in service to their country in the military.

For many, war is not a past event. It’s a recent experience, or even an ongoing reality. For my colleague, tales from battle are not just in dusty old history books or written on stone monuments. He hears stories of combat straight from the mouth of his nephew Vincent, an American soldier who served in the 82nd Airborne.

Vincent completed two tours of duty in Iraq. On his first day, a sniper bullet missed his head by 6 inches. Shortly after, other members of his unit were caught by an improvised explosive device (IED), killing one and injuring several others. That was only day one.

We know that war takes a terrible toll, physically, mentally, and emotionally on those who fight for us. That’s why on November 11th is important to pay our respects to those who gave their all to protect us. And let us also not forget those who continue to do so.

Tomorrow, as we remember the sacrifices that veterans make for us, take an extra moment from the whirlwind that is our always-connected, media-saturated life and thank those who serve.


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