Today is Veterans Day and I can’t help but feel thankful for all the men and women of our armed forces who are serving and have served our country in the past. I remember seeing an interview with several soldiers who were fighting the war in Iraq and the interviewer asked one “When you go back home and you’re having a beer with your friends, what will you tell them about the time you served?” (or something silly like that). To which the soldier replied “I’m not old enough to drink, sir.” It made me cry. He was just a baby and he was off in a foreign land, fighting a war, doing things that no one should have to do.
I was once on a flight with 8-10 soldiers who were on their way to being deployed. One young man sat next to me and he was on his way to his second tour, this time to Afganistan. He was 23 and was trying to be charming. We chatted for an hour and a half and he told me about how it was hard to come home last time. He said the quiet of it all weirded him out. And that he found that he got really anxious and uncomfortable in odd ways – like he couldn’t be behind too many other cars on the freeway – he needed to be in front so he could see what was going on. And you should have seen the way he got animated about simple stuff that we take for granted: Wal-Mart – “You can get EVERYTHING there! I can get an XBox and Twizzlers and a case of Coke, all in one place!” He was just a boy and he was going out there, risking his life.
These men and women sacrifice so much and I just have to put it out there-thank you. Thank you. Thank You.