Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just Say Thank You!


I received this in my email this morning and had to pass along this very moving and heartwarming story. I hope you enjoy it much as I did!

SAY THANK YOU
by Nancy Julien Kopp

The men and women in our armed forces are not numbers in a newspaper article.

Each one that deploys leaves behind parents, sisters and brothers, spouses and children, as well as myriad of friends. They are not numbers -- they are people.

They laugh, they cry, they love, they endure hardships, they work hard. They are human beings with all the emotions you and I experience. They sweat, they like to eat three times a day or more, they enjoy fellowship with others, they pray, they shake with fear more often than we'll ever know. They are warm, living beings.

How often do we read that another brigade has deployed?

Numbers? No, not numbers, that brigade is made up of people who smile, cry, tell jokes, treasure the photos they carry of loved ones. They have headaches and stomachaches like you and me. They get slivers in their fingers and bruises on arms and legs. They're no
less vulnerable to physical ailments than we are, but they face dangers we have never dreamed of.

I live near an army post, so I see uniformed soldiers everywhere I go. They stop at the grocery store on their way home from work just like teachers and attorneys and librarians do. They pick up their children at soccer fields as a civilian mom or dad does.

We are all very much alike, except for one thing.

These soldiers, male and female, have volunteered to serve, to protect our country at home and in foreign lands, to perhaps put their life in danger while doing so.

Have you ever thanked a soldier or marine or sailor? Maybe you'd feel uncomfortable walking up to a total stranger and saying, "Thanks for all you do for me and the rest of America every day."

What a great gift it would be if you could say that to a member of the armed forces. Think about it the next time you see an American in uniform.

A couple years ago, my husband and I were returning from a European trip. We were tired and anxious to get through customs when we landed back in America. As we approached the passport checkpoint, a door opened and an entire unit of uniformed soldiers filed through.

They were returning from Iraq, an even longer flight than we'd had. We stopped and watched these fatigued young men and women as they walked by us. Some nodded and smiled, others stared straight ahead.

Some I could barely see for the tears that had filled my eyes. I wanted so badly to say Welcome Home to them, but the lump in my throat didn't allow it.

The pride that overcame me at that moment cannot be described. I was every soldier's mother for just an instant. And what about the ones who didn't return? The ones who came home in a body bag or a wooden coffin. My pride in them is every bit as strong along with a deep and abiding gratitude in what they gave for the rest of us. They sacrificed so that we can keep living in a free country.

Yes, we Americans have many disagreements, but, even so, we are blessed in numerous ways. Don't wait for Veterans Day or Memorial Day, take time to say thank you to a military person.

Say it in person or say it in your heart, but please say it.

23 comments:

He & Me + 3 said...

Kat,

Thank you so much for sharing this email with us. It made tears fill my eyes. I so wish I could thank them all individually. What a service & a sacrifice they do everyday. God bless america!

SusanD said...

Great post. Thank you so much for sharing it. Always remember to give the gratitude salute when you see a solder. Blessings, SusanD

Amy said...

Very nice post, thank you for sharing with me. I am not afraid to walk up to a soldier and thank them for their service. My husband was in the military as so was my grandfather, father and brother. Even though I wasn't in the military myself, I did get a small glimps of the hard work these men and women go through to protect our country. So often it's taken for granted the work they do when actually we should be thanking God for them and asking for His wonderful protection over them. Very nice post thank you~
Amy

TCKK said...

Thank you for reminding me. I do so appreciate all these men and women are doing for me and our country.

Heckety said...

We've been discussing this very issue with our girls at dinner and in the car the last few days as we approach Armistace Day. The sacrifices soldiers make should never be underestimated, past and present.

skoots1mom said...

our airport has a tradition in the food court area...anytime troops walk through, people stand and applaud...I LOVE IT!

COUNTRY MOM said...

Kat, May God Bless Every One And Keep Them Safe... Blessings Audrey

Sheryl said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a touching message.

Mari said...

As the mom of a soldier, I have to tell you how much it means to me when my son comes home and people stop him to thank him. He's usually not in uniform, but when he flies in he sometimes is, so sometimes in the airport he is thanked. It usually makes me get a tear in my eye!

LV said...

A very touching and moving story. Also, very true. Our country does have its problems, but still we are so much more blessed than some of the other parts of the world.

Darcie said...

We do need to be so much aware of what they do for us. It's not that hard to say "thank you", and yet it can mean so much in return.

Thanks for sharing.

Just Breathe said...

I am forever thankful for the men and women who serve our country, keeping us safe and sound. I am thankful that my SIL came home safe from Iraq. God Bless them and keep watch over them.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

Thank you so much for sharing this email with us. What a service and sacrifice they give to us to be free every single day.

Parsley said...

I am so thankful for our military!

from our front porch... said...

My husband J and I both really enjoyed this. Thank you!

Also, big hugs for your sweet comments about our new addition. Isn't God grand! New life is awesome because of Him!
Blessings, Misha

Greg C said...

I say thank you all the time when I see them in uniform. A met one down at the market a few months ago who said he was in town just for a few days to spend some time with his wife before returning to Iraq. He was looking at a bottle of wine and asked me how much it was. I handed it to him and said it was free today. He said thank you and I said No...Thank you for what you are doing. And I said thank you to his wife too.

E @ Scottsville said...

Oh Praise God for the men that fight for US and for OUR FREEDOM and who gives their lives willingly so that we might live free. Great Post Kat!

I'm thankful for a Grandfather who served in WW2, a Father who served in Vietnam, and a husband who was USAF and didn't have to go overseas to any war.

LisaShaw said...

What a BLESSING to my heart. Thanks Kat for sharing and may we always be thankful to our military and their families for all that they have done, are doing and will do.

May the protection of our GOD be with them.

Love ya.

Denise said...

This touched my heart.

Joyce said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Kat. I know it means so much to a soldier when people take a minute to say thank you.

Samantha said...

Beautiful post.
Thank God for our freedom and the service these dedicated men and women do.
~ Hugs and blessings to you my dear friend.

Loren said...

Kat,

This is such a heart touching post. I thank them everytime I see them. What sacrifices they make for US to be free! Honestly we could never thank them enough!

Bless you my friend, love and appreciate YOU :)

christy rose said...

Thanks Kat for sharing this with us! How eye opening! I really am so thankful!