It is not with angst that I write this but with a sense of awe for random acts of kindness for soldiers by regular people. Some grateful and thankful soul, paid for my son's (Marine) and his Staff Sergeant's lunch! So what are we thanking our soldiers for? We are thanking our soldiers for their service, a service ridden with stress, danger and uncertainty of life itself; something they have chosen to do, so that you and I could live our lives secure and safe without worry. Soldiers are the reason that prevents us from agonizing over getting killed or maimed; we still return home intact after a day's work. It's a Soldier that goes through the angst of returning from battle with one limb or none; it's them that a war chooses whether they will ever see, whether they will hear the sound of laughter, whether they will ever sleep a soundless sleep, whether they will be able to quiet those stubborn nightmares of death and destruction, whether their core or ours in the process, will remain untainted.
We thank our soldiers for fighting on our behalf, so we could sit in our kitchens and have our morning tea or coffee, so we could go to work where the maximum damage we will ever face is a pink slip; that is certainly not be a matter of life and death. On the other hand, a tiny mistake by him or others could result in one of permanent disappearance. We are thanking our soldiers because they make it possible for us to come back home most nights to our warm beds and our showers. We thank our soldiers because our brains are not fried and we do not hear black dogs of depression each day and every night. We are what we are, rarely are we what they ask us to be; not with a soldier. He has to abide by a discipline that will not allow for personal distractions; he has to stay mentally, physically and spiritually intact.
Sometimes the enemy is a concrete entity but occasionally the enemy is unknown, but a Soldier must take them down or he will drown in the battlefield. This is not what he learned in school, these not the values he grew up with. Nonetheless he will lie in ambush, crawl in ditches, trudge through forests to seek and destroy his enemy, and ours. He will not give up because he knows they will come back for him, he will be hopeful that somebody will see. This is why we thank our soldiers; they are our children, our husbands, our brothers, our grandchildren, they are humanity!
So here it is: Our heartfelt thanks to all Soldiers, their families and friends. We salute you and just want to say how proud we are of you. May our Soldiers always do the right thing and may they come back home safe. and more than that, may they come back better than they left. It is a fractured reality but that's how war is. Let's honor our Soldiers and say Thank You when we see one. It does not take much to gladden a Soldier's heart. We are indeed proud parents of a Marine, yes that is America's toughest and finest fighting force; the few who go in first and invariably are last ones to leave. Thank You Soldier! May you always be well.