Every time I go to the VA hospital I am reminded of how blessed my life is and no matter how bad things are they could be worse. There are so many men and women there who sacrificed so much in the name of freedom and service to our country and it’s a humbling experience to see them there.
These are broken men and women. Broken physically and some mentally. Yet each and every one has the same look of pride in their eyes. The look that says they would do it all again if given the chance. They make no excuses for their physical condition, and they expect no sympathy. What most of them want more than anything is something they get far too infrequently: a simple, heartfelt thanks. Just telling a veteran that you appreciate his or her service is more than most people do. In fact, it’s the least we can do. We should be doing more, but a thanks is enough because not too many of us are bothering to do even that.
These men and women made a short sacrifice of time and that is resulting in a lifetime of pain and suffering. And they did it willingly so that the rest of us would never have to.
Veterans Day is this week and it reminds us to thank our veterans across the country. But don’t wait for that once-a-year holiday to take action. The very next time you see or meet a veteran, take time to thank them. No, make it a point – go out of your way to thank them. It’s the least you can do. But it’s enough.