I don't know too many people personally that have gone to war for me.
Although I do have some family members who have served in the armed forces.
I think that is that one that strikes me the most. Even though my dad didn't know me yet as he signed up to go fight a war.
To leave family and security behind.
To trade it for nightmarish reminders and medical affliction that still plague him today.
I don't know all the reasons behind why he signed up. But I believe he was wanting to see freedom for others who did not have it. Freedom that he enjoyed here in America.
He went, along with many, many others to fight a controversial war.
I don't know many details. As one could guess, my dad doesn't share too many of the stories of his time oversees in uniform. But that's OK. I've seen him suffer physically over the last 30+ years to know that all things were not pleasant.
My dad was exposed to disease and toxic gases while serving this country. Things that followed him home.
I know there are countless other veterans who have and are suffering like my dad. Their sacrifice for this country did not end when their feet once again touched this American soil. Their sacrifice continues, follows them around daily. Physically, mentally.
I don't say all this evoke pity. I don't think my dad, or other veterans necessarily want that.
But I want to stir appreciation.
I know there are some who do not always agree with all that Armed Forces are doing or have done. But regardless, these people sacrificed their lives, then and now, for each of our freedom.
The least we can do is say "Thank you."
*a repost from November 2012