Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Veterans Day.
  A day to remember our military.
     I am forever grateful for the men and women who have sacrificed for our country.
Sacrificed so that I can have freedom.
     Sacrificed so that I can have luxuries so few other countries have.
 Sacrifices I have not had to make, but they made for me.
   Words cannot even say the gratitude I hold for all the men and women who have served and do serve the United States of America.

 I have always held such a high respect for the military. My brother went into the marines in 2002, and watching him graduate was a moment I will never forget, with all the cadets (sorry, Tim, if that is not the correct word) in line, saluting and doing drills.  I am so proud of him and the years he spent serving our country for our freedom. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other places. I saw firsthand the sacrifices he made.
My brother, Tim. 

  I now have the privilege of working on a military base, and being surrounded by that atmosphere of pride. Most would find this completely silly, but when I am driving onto base, and the car in front of me holds an officer , and the guard at the gate salutes the officer, I swell with pride. I love seeing that.  I get to see flags waving proudly all around me every day. The Star Spangled Banner plays every day, and cars stop and soldiers salute.  I have the privilege of meeting  military personnel of all ranks and job duties. And I get to work for the United States Air Force Marathon, where generals and colonels award medals to our participants, and I am part of that experience.

The Marathon Finish line

 This year, I also saw one of my closest friends retire from years of serving in the military, and was able to be a part of her military retirement ceremony. When she asked me to give the prayer for her ceremony, I could not have felt more honored. Not only was I extremely proud to go to her ceremony, but I was humbled to be a part of that. Words cannot express the humility I felt in that experience. Me, who has not done much for our country, was asked to be a part of her ceremony. The National Anthem was sung by a woman acapella and was absolutely beautiful and, for me, a moment of bringing tears of pride and joy. I listened to stories told of her years of service and looked through photos, and watched her stand at attention when awarded with her certificate of retirement. I choked back tears, simply because I felt so much pride for what Kristin has done for our country over the years. What an honor to be a part of her ceremony.

TSgt  Kristin E. Aguiar

 I have often taken for granted the sacrifices made by the military of our country. But now, being more educated in all that they do, I have an eternal gratitude for all they each have done- they have given of their time, their family life, their own life, all so we can live in a country full of freedoms.
  Freedom to vote.
   Freedom of religion.
     Freedom of speech and choices. 

Freedoms we have never known any other way....because of the men and women of our country. The stories I shared here are just a few of the people who have touched my life. To try to include each person I've come to know would fill pages of blogs. 

To all my military friends, THANK YOU. May we learn to say thank you more than just on Veterans Day. You have spent your life sacrificing for mine. And my heart is forever grateful for you. 

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