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Just Say Thank You

May 13, 2009
By JONAY CORLEY

Thousands of miles from home, he sits in the sand and thinks of the family he left behind. Never too far from danger and death, he fights for the freedom you take for granted. While you sleep tight in your bed tonight, he will make his in the desert. He is an Army of one who has aimed high to accelerate his life so he can be counted among the few and the proud. He is an American Serviceman, just say thank you.

He kisses his wife and kids before leaving for work each day; they pray he will return safely, knowing he may not. He patrols the streets in search of would-be criminals, often putting himself in harm's way because he swore to protect and serve. He has witnessed the pain of domestic violence and he knows what alcohol can do to a man. In the line of duty he has seen more than he can say as he experiences the tragedy of life firsthand. He is a police officer, just say thank you.

She will go to school today just as she has for 20 years and she will never graduate. For some children she is the only enforcer of the rules, the only disciplinarian and the only positive role model they will ever know. Molding young minds day in and day out, year after year, she is responsible for the success of many. She is a school teacher, just say thank you.

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He is the first one in and the last one out, battling the flames as he fights to save what's yours. For reasons you cannot understand, he fans and fights the flames that threaten to take our homes for no monetary gain. By day he inhabits the body of a common man, but when disaster strikes he is a hero. He is a volunteer fireman, just say thank you.

She mans the counter at 5 a.m. when you stop for your first cup of coffee. Tired from standing, yet smiling all the while, she greets you as if you were her guest. People come and go, but few have stopped to read her nametag. She is a convenience store clerk, just say thank you.

He comes home from work each day tired and dirty. His children joke about his 'raccoon eyes'. Six inches from hell, he labors to keep the state's largest industry alive. He is a coal miner, just say thank you.

They give up their holidays, vacations and free time to chronicle yours. They attend meetings so you don't have to; they take pictures to capture the moment; and they share your life with others. Working long hours, stressing over deadlines and writing one more story is common practice as they strive to bring the community's news to print. They suffer the ridicule of many and delight in a stray compliment or two. Poised in a profession scorned by the masses, they deliver a product the world could not live without. They are reporters, just say thank you.

We are living in a spoiled society that pays little mind to the feelings, sufferings and sacrifices of others. We are so caught up in the routine of daily life that we miss the rare moments we have to make someone's day. It only takes two words to bring a smile to your neighbor's face...

Just say thank you.

 
 
 

 

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