Hmmm, where do I start this letter to ‘thank you’ for sacrificing your life to protect our freedom? Do I begin to thank each outfit individually or do I say a ‘general’ thank you to those of you out there in the field risking it all so those of us back home can have the freedom to do so much other countries do not have the luxury of doing?
I think I will just write what I feel in my heart and not what I think you wish to hear. So here it goes and it is something I am sure plenty others out there feel as well…or so I think.
I want to take this opportunity to ‘thank you’ with all my heart for taking the time away from your family to travel so many miles away from home to protect our freedom. You took an oath without regard to whether or not you would return to see your family one more time. I am sure you went into this with the intentions of not only making a difference but doing something that you felt was the right thing to do. Whether it was done to protect our freedom or because your friend or mate joined or perhaps because you felt it was the only thing you could do to make a difference it is something I certainly admire and appreciate.
I don’t know your name or your age or who you left behind back home. I know you are a male who left a mother, father, wife or fiance back home in hopes of coming home soon to begin your life. Or perhaps you are a female.. mother, wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister or aunt wanting to serve our country and yet wanting to be respected for the strong woman you are. Yes, I’m sure there are times when you rather be home wearing a pretty dress and perfume and letting your hair down and just being a woman. You are also that strong person who bravely left it all behind because you knew that by doing so not only would you make a difference but you would also make the world a better place for your family and your children.
Yes, you at times most likely regret leaving your family and wish you were back home safely tucked away in your safe neighborhood in your warm comfortable bed instead of the hard barracks or perhaps the hard ground where you have no choice to sleep in. You must ration your food and water, watch where you step or who you can trust, worry if you are a target or if you will be caught. When you lose a friend or must lie to them that they will be ok when you know they will not, your heart breaks and you cry yourself to sleep, or not, because you have been exposed to so much pain, torture and death that you wonder why did you do this. You ask yourself so many times why and then you look at the picture you keep carrying in your breast pocket or your wallet and then you see the reason or reasons why you are doing it.
Thank you is not much to say for all you have done for our freedom but it is a start to say “I appreciate and hope my humble ‘thank you’ is enough gratitude for giving me the freedom to live the life I currently am enjoying.” There are so many of you out there doing so much for us and so many do not realize that what we have now, we basically owe to you, the men and women, protecting us, risking their lives for us and not thinking twice but DOING what you feel is your ‘duty’.
So here is another heartfelt ” THANK YOU ” to the many men and women serving to protect us all who are in the NAVY, ARMY, ARMED FORCES, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD, NATIONAL GUARD, MILITARY, NAVY SEALS, and I am sure I forgot more than a few and I give you my apologies and I do thank you for all you have done.
You are the bravest, elite and most respected group of individuals who America should be proud of!
May you safely return home and may you never regret your decision to protect your country. You are the reason I am proud to be an American and without you, we would not be where we are.
May these words from a humble writer bring you comfort wherever you are.
Life is good because of you…………….