Many of us know someone who has served in the military. Nearly every person has met or seen someone in uniform whether it be at the gas station, shops or in passing. For myself, I have been blessed to have come from a military family.
Both my grandfathers served, one for the Australian Defence Forse, the other the U.S. Defence. I’ve also had uncles serve, in many different branches, one uncle who was an exceptional black hawk pilot and was asked back as a trainer once retired. My father also served in the US Navy and National Guard.
It was when my dad was a Gunners Mate in the Navy that he met my mum in Scotland. Believe it or not, but most people get confused about how my parents met until I explain that part…go figure.
So throughout my life, I have been surrounded by those in the military wherever I have lived. I have had the absolute pleasure of interacting with those that are serving and or retired throughout my 35-years on this earth and each time I relish in the conversation.
When it comes to Veteran’s Day, now as a journalist, I find that it is one of the best weeks leading up to the day in the year for me. I thoroughly enjoy sitting down and talking with a veteran, listening to their stories and learning what their service was like for them.
Each person who is willing and able to serve has as unique of a story as my dad meeting my mum. There have been stories of coming from broken homes to excelling in the military and finding a family and purpose. Stories of those that had gotten into trouble in their youth and were given the option to enlist and were able to turn their lives around. Then there are those that are generational servants to God and Country.
Above all, there is something everyone can do, thank them.
If you see a serviceman in the shops or filling up their car at a gas station, thank them for their service. If you know a Veteran, thank them for their sacrifice.
There are more times than you can count that those who have served have given up a lot more than you realize, just to be ready to be deployed to fight for the freedoms we have today.
I personally take every opportunity to thank a man or woman in uniform for their service, if I know the family of someone deployed I thank the family for being supportive to their loved one. I have also in the past signed on to be a pen pal for someone deployed.
It’s so important that we as citizens recognize those that have served, they have given a lot for a little, even sometimes with no recognition. More importantly, we need to support them as many need the support of community after their service is completed.
I’m thankful for being a part of a military family and learning and understanding what it means to be a patriot.
For all that are serving, for all that have served, thank you for what you sacrificed for the many-Happy Veteran’s Day.