That doesn’t even begin to seem like enough. I have never served my country. That stings a little to write (it can be argued that it doesn’t sting enough to propel me to enlist). I feel like I have ridden on your coat tails, dear veteran, and it is important that you know – at the very least, that I am abundantly grateful.
I am grateful for your courage and honor and bravery, yes. But it’s more than that. I am thankful for your parents, or partners or friends or family members who gave you something to work for, to fight for and to look forward to being reunited with. I am grateful for everything that you lost, yes, but also for everything that took on too. I can’t know what your journey has been and how that has shaped you as a parent, or child or sibling or human but I thank you for surviving it. It is easy (and again, some may say too easy) to say “thank you”, but that won’t dissuade me from doing it. I can post a picture of a bald eagle or an American Flag today and then go back to my life tomorrow free from suffering from anxiety, depression or PTSD.
To the men, women and children who love and support their vet, may I offer you this, I see you, I hear you and I feel for you. Your lives have been forever changed too by this calling and it’s important that you know that matters; that your family matters. Because you do.