I am not sure what draws me to think of certain heroes so often...but, I do. Military. Active or not. It is unbelievable to me that these everyday people make a decision to put their own lives at risk to ensure that my country is a free and safe place to live...and that others have a safe place to live around the world. Whether or not you believe that war is right and just, we all owe so much to these men and women. It doesn't stop there. They leave families behind. There are husbands and wives holding up the fort while their spouse is deployed for months and months and months. They are absent for births, birthdays, first steps, graduations, deaths, heartaches, Christmases, report cards, and so much more that I cannot even imagine.
When they come home, we celebrate, throw parties, honor them, and tell them how much we appreciate them, AS WE SHOULD.
But, then, we go on living our lives, as they go on...dealing with all of the memories they will forever hold of their deployment. We go on living, and they go on dealing. Simply dealing. Dealing with adjusting to this life that they once left. With this life that they have returned to. They deal with the memory of the life of when they were gone for SO long, in another surreal world. In that life, I can only imagine, the heartache for the desire to be with their family must be so great. I can imagine that they must remember only the good of life back at home. They must be so anxious for the comfortable feeling of American living.
When they return, though, they are left to find work again. Sure, their jobs are supposed to be available for them upon return, but it is not always the case. They are returning to the fairy tale they dreamed of during their deployment. In actuality, they return to a life we ALL know. The economy. Money. Kids arguing. the daily 9-5. In addition, they can add the stress of their memories. Memories we cannot imagine. War. No one else talks much about it. How would you? No one brings it up, really. They just have to deal with it.
I have an uncle who proudly served for 10+ years in the military, was in the Delta Force, and has secrets he will take to the grave. He is one of the kindest, most thankful people I know. For the trees, the early morning sunrise, his morning coffee, his family. He rarely complains of the back pain inflicted from shrapnel from enemy fire. He texts often how much he loves us all. He has seen so much. He knows a blessing when he sees it. I am so thankful for his courage and service to our country. I can count my cousins, Seth and Christie, and a few friends from the past that have sacrificed so much to serve. I am so thankful to all of them, more than words can even express.
Friday is VETERAN'S DAY! Don't wait until Friday to pat a VET on the back. Do it every chance you get. They deserve it.
Lesson: Heroes are disguised as everyday people who did something great.