“Thank You” on Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. It’s both a happy day and a sad day. It’s a day to remember those who’ve fought and died for our Country, but mostly a day to celebrate the fine men and women who’ve come home from battle and walk amongst us.

My Dad, My Brother-in-law and the next generation during our last family trip
My Dad, My Brother-in-law and the next generation during our last family trip

For me, it’s pretty easy to keep our American Veterans in the top of my mind. My father flew helicopters for the Army, and narrowly missed going to Vietnam. My brother-in-law served in Iraq during his and my sister’s courtship, and we spent many nights worrying about his safety. He’s seen too much, but came home healthy to marry my sister and start a family. Other family members and friends don’t think of themselves as heros because they didn’t see the front lines, or because they are still haunted by what they saw while serving. There’s sadness in all of it, and pride too. I’m proud to say “Thank You” to these service people who I’m lucky enough to have in my life.

American flag at half staffVeteran’s affairs fill my professional life too. It is logical that working at a flag store, I work with many active and former military customers. It’s true that we meet more veterans on any given day than most, but one of my jobs brings me even closer than just that. It’s my responsibility to find and distribute the half-staff notices for nearly fifty-thousand email subscribers every day. I see news reports, presidential proclamations, and governors proclamations every day and from all fifty states regarding soldiers killed overseas. I send, on average, 5 half-staff email notices per week. Sometimes they are for elected officials or other figureheads but most of them are for men and women, just like those who’ve walked into the store today, who served our wonderful country.

service star flagIt may not be as easy for everyone else to see the heros amongst us. They are everywhere you go. I’d like to encourage you today (and tomorrow, and everyday) to take your eyes off your phone and look around you. The lady next to you at the bank, sporting a service star pin on her purse, has a family member serving. The elderly gentleman loading groceries into his car at the grocery store served during WWII. And the young man in the beat up pickup at the red light will be deployed next month. Watch for stickers on vehicles, pins, patches or flags on their clothing and hats. A simple “Thank you for your service” goes a long way.

Have a great Veterans Day and THANK YOU to all who have served!

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