Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thank You, Veterans!

Flag over Overton-Brooks Veterans Medical Center

November 11 - Veterans' Day . . . a day to pay tribute to those who have kept America free!

If you've read my blog for a while, you know how I feel about these special men and women. As the wife of a former Marine and the mom of a son now in his fifteenth year of military service, I have a special place in my heart for veterans - not just my two men but all who have served and are serving our country.

For many years, Dean Nelson of WGN - Chicago has read this tribute to the men and women who defend our freedom. I copied it from

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say "Thank You." That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU."

Hope you'll take time today to show at least one veteran that he or she is appreciated. I'll start now!

John David and Andy, THANK YOU! I'm proud of you . . . your courage . . . your willingness to serve . . . your love for our country . . . and your sacrifices!


Karin said...

So beautifully said! God bless!

S. Etole said...

Heartfelt thanks to your family and to those they represent ...

Arti said...

Very well written... Yes very brave men/women, a big thank you to them...
Have a blessed day:)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Amen, Glenda... Let's never forget those men and women who served our country to protect our freedom... God Bless them ALL.

Ginny said...

This is a wonderful tribute for Vetern's Day! You should be very proud of your family.

Anonymous said...

Joining with you to thank all our veterans.

Southern Lady said...

Beautiful post! God bless all of those who are serving and have served our country! Carla

Becky said...

I thank your men too. And the countless others who have fought for my freedom, so that I can raise my sons to make decisions that might be good or might be bad, but are all theirs.

We live in the greatest nation in the world because of our troops through all generations.

B. Meandering said...

This was read at the Veteran's Day Assembly at our school. Quite moving, esp. when accompanied with photos flitting across a screen.

Karen said...

Perfectly stated, and thank you for this wonderful reminder!!!!