Blessings and Gratitude on Veterans Day

Today as I honor our US Veterans, I am reflecting upon how many members of my own family volunteered to serve. I am truly blessed.

In the photo below is my Uncle Sidney as he graduated his training in the US Navy then onto fight in WWII. My Uncle Bob fought in Europe for the US Army during WWII. My father’s father was in the US Navy in Europe during the war then in the South Pacific during the occupation. And, of course, my Great-Grandpa Sam who served in BOTH WWI and WWII.

During the Vietnam War my father and his brother served in the US Air Force and US Army respectively. I wish I had my father’s service photo. Somewhere I have a picture of my uncle in his uniform during a visit home. One day I will find it.

My Aunt Cathy served with the US Army and her son, my cousin Steven, with the US Navy for what seems like forever.

The blessings continue as the list of family who served in the US military goes on.

There won’t be any buildings named after my relatives. No statues erected in their image. Their birthdays aren’t destined to be national holidays. But their dedication — all veterans dedication and service — to our nation makes them just as important as those who do have those things. Maybe more. When each took their oath, they knew they would not return home the same as when they left. Thankfully in my family, everyone came back with their bodies fully in tact. Yet they had all changed from the experience. And every American is better for the service of every US Veteran.

How appropriate that we honor our Veterans on the 11th Day of the 11th Month in the 11th Hour, the same month as our country celebrates Thanksgiving. It is a month that gratitude is top of mind. I am in the habit of saying simply “Thank you for your service” to every Veteran I encounter. It brings a smile to their faces and makes my day every single time. I highly recommend doing this. Not only on Veterans Day but every day.

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