Dear Veteran

Dear Veteran,

I want to write a letter and say thank you.

Thank you. Those two inadequate words that do not give your service or your sacrifice justice. Those two words that cannot convey the depth of my gratitude or the greatness of your commitment to this country.

And truly it is great.

You that defends this country. Our freedom. Our rights. You keep our quality of life and give us the opportunity to make our future better. You fight to protect us, our melting-pot culture, our diversity, our differences, our similarities. Our standards, our morals, our opinions, our dreams. The American Dream.

This great nation. You sacrifice your time, your physical and emotional health and too many times your lives. You give up everything so that we can keep everything.

Or at least the promise of it.

And so often we undervalue your service. We ignore your heroic deeds and protest the very wars that you are committed to fight. We look down on your sacrifice because we're too selfish and too short-sighted to understand how far-reaching your deeds go.

You not only protect us today but the days ahead. You not only protect our lives but the lives that we cannot possibly understand are in danger. You preserve our present and guard our future.

And you do this selflessly.

There is no greater service than that.

While we sit in the comfort of our homes and catch headlines and the nightly news, you live out your service to this country and offer all of you. You ignore the current political climate and the popular politics of the day. You put your own future on hold and give up family, friends and your familiar way of life.

You courageously follow orders and stay committed to a cause you might not always understand. You push your body to its physical limitations and your mind beyond what any man or woman should endure. You fight valiantly. You protect fiercely. And you live courageously.

Even if fear is your constant companion. Even when the darkness of night presses in and the task seems impossible. Even when there is no hope or promise of tomorrow.

You fight still. And you never stop. And you will never stop.

For that I say thank you. I say it knowing it is not enough, but it is all that I have.

So to my father, and my brother, to my uncles and my cousins, to my friends and neighbors, to those of you I have never met and will never meet, to those that have come before us and fallen, to those that have fallen in this day, to those that have yet to come and yet to sacrifice, to all of you that choose to offer your life to keep this a nation united, a nation of the brave and the free and the strong. To keep us a nation under God, indivisible, with justice and liberty for all.

Thank you.


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