Somehow, these two words are just not enough... They do not encompass the sincere, heartfelt gamut of emotions I experience when I think about those who have fought for my freedom; our freedom. When I look at the American flag or hear the Star Spangled Banner, I don't simply see the colors or hear the music...I feel the gratitude deep in my soul.
No, I think of a lot more than that. I think about the sleepless nights spent in a foxhole, wondering if they would see the morning light just one more time; the wounds that don't heal (the psychological ones); the moments missed such as a baby being born or a first birthday party; the families at home, keeping the family going and the prayers they pray every night for the safe return of their soldier or airman. I think about my own father and one of his close friends, who are Vietnam veterans.
I think about the ones who have returned, who will never feel whole again; the ones who sacrificed part of themselves. PTSD, TBI, survivor guilt, Gulf War illness, all of the pieces that can never be put back in place. And I think about the ones who are still out there...somewhere...
These are the things I think about when I look at our flag... when I hear our national anthem. How does one ever say "Thank you" for all of that?
~ Until next time,