On this Veteran’s Day I sit and read the many tributes and thanks posted on various sites and blogs and I wonder how many of these people would be willing to answer the call that the young men and women who have served and are still serving did. Would we really be willing to sacrifice everything we had to preserve the freedoms that these people have helped guarantee for us? Could we leave our homes and our families to travel to distant lands to fight an enemy that is willing to go to any length to see us destroyed? Could you face that kind of hate head on with your head held high and your eyes straight ahead? I don’t know if I could have ever made that kind of sacrifice. I know that I would lay down my life for those I love, but would I have been willing to do it for someone I didn’t. I ask myself could I have gone into battle knowing that not every person was behind me and when I return be it in one piece or in a flag draped coffin that there would be those who still mocked my existence. There would be those who would shout epitaphs against those who had asked for my time, my effort and the skills that I possessed and could I have held my tongue when hearing such nonsense and be as gracious as I have heard one vet be when he said, “I fought for their right to be angry, and I fought for their right to speak their mind and I fought for their right to be stupid.” I know that I love my country with all that is in me and I well up at the mere mention of anything patriotic and the tears begin to flow when I hear our National Anthem or the heartfelt words of a tribute to those who have gone before us, but could I willingly give my all?
So as I ponder these questions today, I ask that you examine your heart along with me. For if it were not for these brave young men and women we would not be able to enjoy what most just think of as a day off from work because we would not have the freedom to think that without them being able to relinquish the life that we know to go into the fray for those who can’t. So don’t just thank a vet today, pray for those who are still serving, for those who will not come home again and hug those you can, look them in the eye and really say “Thank you.” For they have given what they can and some have given their all.