A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
Take time to honor those who gave their lives for your freedoms.
Take time to thank those who have served our country.
Take time to thank and pray for those who are currently serving our country.
Recently, I was in a store, and walked by a gentleman who had a Vietnam Veteran hat on. As I walked by, I smiled at him, but quickly, turned around and went back, and thanked him for his service to our country. He nodded his head at me, and thanked me back. As I walked away, he began to follow me. I turned to listen to his words, and as I did, I saw his eyes filling with tears. He told me how he appreciated my stopping to thank him, that it's not something he hears often. I shook my head, and said he deserved to be thanked for his service. He went on to tell me how when he returned from Vietnam, three times, he was treated terrible. People spit on him, called him horrible names, hated him, and even threatened his life. He said he could not go anywhere wearing his uniform because of the hatred for service men and women during the Vietnam conflict. By this time, my tears were joining his, but his turned to almost weeping, as he said "it wasn't our fault, we were just following orders, we didn't want to be there either, but we had to be." I put my hand on his shoulder, as I watched a man in his 70's stand with tears streaming down his face, reliving the pain from the rejection of his country, like it was yesterday. I told him I was deeply sorry for him, and others who went through that, and how it was so wrong for them to be treated that way. We talked a little more, and he thanked me again for stopping to talk to him. I said he didn't have anything to thank me for, he was the one who deserved the thanks. He managed a partial grin, and thanked me a couple more times.
I walked through the plumbing section of the store, trying to get a hold on my tears. When I got out to my car, I called my husband to tell him about my experience. At this time, my tears flowed as I thought of a country who rejected those who gave up their lives, either completely or partially, to fight in a war. They deserved, and still do, thanks for their service, as do all service men and women in this country. You may disagree with war, but our service men and women don't have a choice. They have to go. They deserve thanks. I hope that those of you reading take time to purposefully thank our veterans and those currently serving our country, as they deserve honor for their sacrifices.
To those who have served, or are serving, to their families, thank you! You are appreciated and we remember your sacrifice.