What can I say, that hasn’t already been said?
Are the words, “thank you” adequate? Are there any words, that can even begin to convey the depth of appreciation we should hold within our mind and heart? When one attempts to imagine or understand, but cannot. Unless you have walked in those boots, in lands far away not knowing if you will return home. You can’t begin to comprehend. Unless you have been there, hearing the sounds of war around you, or maybe at times worse, the silence, you can’t understand.
How do we watch those we love, sign that blank check for their country, then leave? How do we sit safely in our homes, as they train for what may come? How do we set aside what they face, as we go about our day to day in peace? What words can convey the depth of gratitude we should feel?
How should we react, when they return home? Most dented or broken in some way. They may have set down the accessories of war, but they carry the scars. The memories forever burned into the mind. Many are able to return to the so called normal life, carry on with the every day. Some, are not. All deserve appreciation. All deserve acknowledgement. All deserve respect.
What thoughts run through our mind, when we sit in a warm home, safe and secure. When we have food at the ready to prepare. Do we spare a moment for the veterans who are homeless, cold, hungry? Those people who signed that check and now sit on the streets forgotten. Is that how we show appreciation and gratitude? We can do better. It is more than singing patriotic songs, more than standing for the anthem or saluting the flag. It is more than flying the flag anywhere. It has to be.
Those who signed on the line. Those who put on the uniform of any branch of the service. Those who picked up weapons, who walked onto ships, submarine or plane. Those who were a part in any way in serving this country, deserve much, much more than they have been given. We as a country, we as individuals, should show the respect and gratitude they deserve. Veterans should never go hungry. Should never suffer untreated medical issues. Should never-ever go homeless. Veterans, should never be forgotten or unappreciated.
What thoughts cross our mind, when we walk freely and speak openly? When we travel across the country without concerns over borders as the next state welcomes you without gates, do we smile with acknowledgement that we are free? Flags fly in my yard, for this country, this free country. I can sit in the quiet, warmth of my home, with that ever present cup of coffee, without fear. Because of that blank check signed and delivered.
I have seen where there are some, who wish to put that time behind them, though they graciously accept the thanks of those who offer it to them. There are those who want to know, need to know, they are appreciated for their service. Even if it is with, a simple thank you.
Before I close this, I will say this. I have seen where more is being done. I have seen veterans being acknowledged in work places. I have seen the discounts given to veterans. I know we are finally waking up, finally seeing with a more clear vision. Though we need to do more. So.
Are words enough? I don’t think so, but for now, I offer these…
To all veterans, across time and wars. To all who served in any way for the freedom we have. To all, no matter who and where you are. I thank you. From all that is me, I thank you.