Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. – Marcos T. Cicero
A friend of mine (we’ll call him Mike) who had joined the military was on his way back to his assigned base from bootcamp with his family. They decided to eat at a food court in a mall at Atlanta, Georgia. After ordering, an older gentleman interrupted Mike’s conversation with the cashier to let him know that he, the gentleman, is a U.S. military veteran and that he knew what the men and women in uniform have to go through everyday and that Mike could consider his meal paid as a form of gratitude for his services. Mike described this interaction as an unforgettable, humbling moment that made him feel that his sacrifice is not in vein.
On November 11, we will celebrate Veterans Day, a day that has been observed since a little after World War I. It is a day meant to remember and give thanks to those that have been a part of the military throughout the years and have served in every capacity. In the previous story, it was the veteran that gave thanks, but this upcoming Monday, why not let it be us thanking the vets?
Any gesture will do. Of course they will not be as easy to recognize since they are not in uniform anymore, but if you know of any friend or family member, buy them lunch, clean their porch, walk their dog, write them a letter, give them a card, hang out, call them or just give say thanks.
Not only does our military have to deal with the stress during battle, but also everywhere else. It is very hard for them to reajust to everyday life after coming back from being deployed, or moving to yet another city. Once they come back, many feel like strangers in their own home and they have to deal with new challenges with their workplace, friends, family, and whatever is left from what baggage they are carrying back from the wars.
A token of appreciation would be very welcome then and it could make a difference in their lives. Maybe we could be thankful to our veterans everyday and not just one day a year. Anything will do and they will appreciate it more than we can imagine.