Veterans put our own lives in perspective

This year of 2014 has been quite a trying one from bee stings and infestations to sick pups and their costly surgeries/MRIs, not to mention consternation at my real day job with a new marketing platform that is forever in the hiccup stage.  But today on this Veterans Day 2014, I realize how very fortunate I am to be living in this country, and thankful to all the men and women who make and have made it possible.

While I’m sitting here warm and toasty on a raw fall day in the Midwest, there are those service members who are sitting in some nondescript sand dune in the Afghanistan or sitting homeless on a sidewalk.  As I type these words on a blank canvas, some service members are learning how to use medical devices that replace hands blown off by IEDs.  And what’s more, they volunteered.  Whether to make the military a career, get an education, straighten out their lives, or simply because they believe in service to their country, they are doing something that I couldn’t do.  And for that, I am grateful.

I’ve lived/worked abroad in countries from Europe to the Middle East to Southeast Asia, and at the times encountered hardships that looking back upon them, I shake my head and say to myself, “did I really do that?”  During those times abroad, I encountered marines who stood guard at our Embassy gates and inside the anteroom, with no sense of humor, realizing that they stood between the people inside and whatever external harm might befall them.  I still remember the scrutiny and questions before I passed through the doors into the Embassy compound.

My problems, my whining, are infinitesimal compared to what you, past and present members of the Armed Forces have gone through serving your country.  Your families, friends, loved ones, are also owed a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices in standing by you in your long absences while serving your country.

To all of you who have kept us safe and made us proud to be Americans, thank you.  Thank you.

And for those of your brothers and sisters who have fallen, we honor them and will never forget.

Taken at the funeral for Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, with his faithful dog, Hawkeye