Today is November 11, 2011…or as some people are recognizing it: 11-11-11…
However, I look at it for what it truly is: Veteran’s Day.
Did we forget? I have heard more today about the silly number game (which isn’t even valid because has everyone forgotten about the two and zero stuck in the middle of those numbers?) than about those veterans who truly deserve our attention.
Every day I think about our veterans (past, present, and future) and I pray for them and thank God for them and, when I have an opportunity, I thank them in person.
When I see a person in uniform at the store, I approach them, shake their hand, and say “Thank you for your service”.
When I go to Sea World, when the Shamu show starts, they always ask all those in the military to stand. I cheer loudly, look around for the closest person, and at the end of the show, I find the closest one, stop them, shake their hand, and say “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt your day with your family, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your service.”
Once, at a show, I discovered the poor woman in front of me juggling a toddler and preschool child all on her own was by herself because she was a military wife…her husband was deployed. Before the show began and she wanted to go get popcorn, I watched her children for her…at the end of the show, before she could get things together, I leaned over and said, “Please, pass on my thanks to your husband for his service; and also thank you because you give just as much as his wife.”
I’ve also been known to pay for a meal at a restaurant or an order at the grocery store with a simple, “It’s the least I can do for everything you do for me.”
Each time I approach someone, I am always greeted with a bit of hesitation and, once they hear my statement, there is a look of relief, a smile and a look of humbleness and they thank me for the comment. I have never been turned away.
My point? We don’t do near enough for those who protect us, keep us safe, and stand up and fight for our rights. Funny enough, they fight for the rights of all of us…even those who have the right to stand up and disrespect them through the awful words or actions that demean our military (those very rights that allow a person to do those awful things). I suspect that the look of relief is because, unfortunately, they may now know until they hear my words, that I mean to respect them, not admonish them.
No, one day a year is not near enough to honor these heroes; but for those people who spent the day marveling at the numbers, I hope that you took some time to marvel at the fabulous men and women who willingly stand in front of you and fight for your rights and would gladly take a bullet for you, even though they probably don’t even know you exist.
Thank you, to all of the heroes in all branches of the military, past, present, and future. You are constantly in my prayers and thoughts.