More than 200 years have passed since the United States became an independent nation, yet one constant has remained from the 1700s through today: Many brave men and women have courageously volunteered to defend the founding principles that ensure our freedom.
They come from all over the country. They are sons and daughters; mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers; aunts and uncles; nieces and nephews; friends and neighbors; and too many times they are taken for granted. Our service men and women are on call 24-hours per day, seven days per week in times of war and times of peace. They spend countless holidays, birthdays and special events away from their family and friends. The pay is not great.
Their jobs are dangerous. And yet, they continue to volunteer - many even make a career out of serving their country.
We may not agree with the war or the occupation of foreign soil, but this should not deter us from providing unrelenting support for our men and women in uniform. It is through the sacrifices of these brave souls, and many who have paid the price in battles and conflicts before them, we are provided the freedom to disagree, to openly declare our objections, and to protest against what they do willingly, regardless of your opinion.
Whether you agree of disagree, there is an American hero somewhere in the world dodging a bullet so you don't have to - and, although it's not his intent, he will willingly lay down his life for the course of freedom to prevail. What have we done to deserve such allegiance? Nothing.
Where do we find such courageous heroes who willingly war on our behalf? Where, indeed?
A single day of recognition hardly seems enough compared to the sacrifices of many, the dangers they have faced and will face. Words alone will never be enough to pay the debt we owe to the Veterans of this great nation. Still, to those who have served and continue to serve in times of war and times of peace, we 'thank you' for answering the call.
If you know a Veteran - someone in your family, a friend of the family, a neighbor, or a stranger in uniform - take a brief moment to thank them for the sacrifices they made for the betterment of their country.