To all the United States Veterans, I say thank you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your willingness to protect our freedoms. Thank you for your sacrifice, your forgoing of a “normal” life. Thank you for enduring what you must endure. Thank you for surviving what you must survive.
To the military families, I say thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice, the measure of which I will most likely never know. The day-to-day worry, the empty place at dinner. The memories and holidays missed. The love, the loss, the lengths you will go to.
This is my Veterans’ Day hope:
This is a time of change for our country, a time of transition, a time in which what had been hidden will have no choice to be brought to light. Who we are and what we do will matter more than ever.
May we find that supporting our troops and veterans is less about having a ribbon or having a bumper sticker and more about stepping up and learning how to serve those who serve us. May we actively look for and find opportunities to actively help our Veterans of whom we say we are so proud.
May we do our due diligence and find, without spin or sensationalism, those in government–regardless of party or position–who act in ways that are not supportive of our Veterans: those who vote against Veteran benefits, be it housing or food or education or healthcare or mental health access. May we let those leaders know that WE support our Veterans, and those who do not, well, they no longer serve us.
May we do our due diligence and find, without spin or sensationalism, statistics on homelessness, suicides, disability, food insecurity, sexual assault, mental health, and drug abuse problems that plague our Veterans. May we find within our hearts compassion for those who have served and look for opportunities to aid in their relief.
May we lessen the gap between word and deed, and truly support our Veterans.