To say Thank You!
As my husband, Clint, and I were making our way to Nashville for Christmas we found ourselves on a flight with several wounded soldiers who were going to be honored at the Tennessee Titans game. Seeing them in person and witnessing the physical sacrifice they had made for our freedom was very moving. They weren't just wounded, they were disabled. One man in particular only had use of one arm, another lost part of his leg, while another was severely burned all over his face. The injuries themselves were significant...but to see how young they were...that was just heartbreaking.
Too often we think of soldiers simply as soldiers, not as people. It's easy to forget they have families. It's easy to forget they have dreams. It's easy to forget they deserve a future as promising as ours. And it's easy to forget that many of them sacrifice all of that so that we can remain free.
When the soldiers walked onto the plane they were greeted with a roaring applause. During the flight the pilots came out, shook their hands, and visited with them. Being the "crier" in the family, I shed a few tears...to say the least. But nothing like I did when we arrived in Nashville.
As Clint and I made our way to the baggage claim area, we found the soldiers had a welcoming party waiting for them. And it wasn't just their families. There were people lining both sides of a long pathway leading to the luggage carousel. We jumped in line to help. There was lots of cheering and hand shaking and clapping. I hope every soldier gets to experience this at least once. They all deserve to know how much their sacrifice is appreciated.
So, the next time you come across a soldier say, "Thank you!" It's your duty!