This is a thank you to the the military, their families, and to the civilians who support them. I am amazed at the outpouring of gratitude that I see and hear of everyday for families of our military. I grew up in the air force and know the hardship of having a deployed parent - my father served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the early 90s.
To our military members: Words cannot express the thanks I hold in my heart for your sacrifices. I know that this war has been dragging on for years and many of you have been gone from your families on more than one deployment, missing such important events that you can never get back. This is truly heart-wrenching, I understand. But please do not think that no one sees this or appreciates it. We do whether we vocalize it to you or not. I make it a point to tell every man and woman I see in uniform "thank you for your service" because I know how much it means to hear those words. I could never thank every single person individually, but I try to let everyone know they have support that transcends politics. Thank you!
To our military families: Unless a person has experienced the military family lifestyle, I don't think they can truly appreciate what that life holds. As I said before, I grew up in the air force and I know what it is to be without a parent for extended amounts of time. I understand how overwhelming things can seem. I understand how a not-so-small piece of your heart and soul leave when your husband, father, son, wife, mother, daughter leaves the safety of your family, knowing full well that there's a chance he/she will not be coming back. No matter how helpless you feel, no matter how defeated you may feel at times, I believe that you are some of the strongest families in our nation. My heart goes out to you and my thoughts and prayers are with every family. Thank you!
To the civilians: No child should have to go through the heartache that this experience brings, but I speak from experience when I say that the support of the community can make a world of difference. I was too young to say thank you to all my teachers and classmates who helped me attempt to lead a normal life when I knew my father was half a world away, not knowing when I'd hear from him next. (On a side note, thank god for the internet and all the new technology we have. No more dependency on letters as the sole means of communication!) So now I say thank you! And thank you to everyone who helps support our service men and women and their families as they struggle through so much. Don't be afraid to go up to someone in uniform and say thank you. It doesn't matter if they have served overseas yet; with the way this war has gone, it's bound to happen. So thank them in advance, if that's the case. If you know a military family, thank them...even the little kids. Offer assistance to those families you know. Even the small gestures can make a difference. Thank you!