Today is Veteran's Day here in the U.S. I could have and probably should have written this post already. It shouldn't be taking a national holiday for me to actually do this. Trust me that I don't need a day in November to get me to think about service men and women and a day in May to remember those who died in service of this country.
When I say, "Thank you for your service" there is so much more behind it than those few words. It feels like a trite thing to say. It is meant to express gratitude but doesn't quite cover it.
So, here's all that is included in my "Thank you for your service."
Thank you giving up who you were to the person you would become; for giving up time with your family and loved ones. Thank you for giving up bedtime routines and the many "firsts" of a child's life. Thank you for your willingness to miss out on so many of the ordinary routines of life as well as the big moments. These sacrifices are beyond my ability to truly understand, but know that I realize they exist.
Thank you for surviving. You may have moments during which you wish maybe you hadn't. I understand the darkness even if I don't know yours. Thank you for your daily survival of the war you may be fighting within yourself.
I'm sorry that our expression of gratitude pales in comparison to what you have done.
Thank you for your service.