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What to say to a veteran

What to say to a veteran

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Thank you for stepping forward when others step back.

Thank you for placing yourself between us and danger.

Thank you for delaying plans for college, marriage, and other opportunities  and choosing to serve.

Thank you for braving the unspeakable horrors of war.

Thank you for sacrificing time with your families and missing those  significant milestones the rest of us take for granted.

Thank you to your spouses who find themselves living nomadic lives, often far  away from the support of loved ones.

Thank you to your children who accept your absence as a way of life and  understand they share you with a nation and sometimes the world.

Thank you to your parents who have nothing but prayers to protect you and  must now trust you will be safe and that we will offer the best we have to  you.

Thank you for continuing to support your country once you leave military  service by following new careers and becoming the teachers, clergy, business  owners, employees, pilots, civil servants and so much more that we need to be a  successful society.

Thank you for involving yourself in your local community, your state, and  your country, helping us to solve problems and to create a vision for our future  using the skills you learned during your tour of duty.

Thank you for being a conscience to our nation.

Thank you for serving as a heroic example of who we are and what we can dream  to be.

Thank you for your service.

Author’s note:  My friend Kim Adams Lowe inspired this column.   Kim is a Korean War veteran’s daughter, a former Air Force officer and an  Air Force spouse.  Over the years of our friendship, I have heard her say, “Thank you for your service,” to airmen serving as color guards, to military men  and women traveling on leave, and to a barbershop quartet whose members are  retired military. She has even said it to me.  “One year or twenty,” she  announces when I comment on her greeting, “they all deserve it.”

She’s right.

The military can be a grand life, but there isn’t a fighter squadron,  destroyer, or combat team that doesn’t know what it is like to lose people. Even  in peacetime, soldiering is dangerous work and always has been.

Please, let us never forget that freedom comes at a price.

 

 

By Cathy Maxwell

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