Thank you to our veterans! To the men and women who have been willing to share part of their story with me, thank you, you have helped me to understand. To those whose sacrifice and role in history we honor while we are saddened that it is still often repeated, thank you. To those who struggle and are reluctant to share with their family–this is hard, but please share with us, we love you, your story is important.
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.
Check out the History Channel’s short video below:
These words from General Douglas MacArthur sum up the thoughts I’ve heard repeated from the many veterans who have shared their story:
Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words
dictate what you ought to be,
what you can be, what you will be.
I want to share a brief conversation with an Iraq war veteran I’ve never forgotten. Years ago a family came to look at my old ranch horse, Shorty, for their young boys. A man, his wife and three year old son. They were stationed at Ft. Bliss down in El Paso, Texas. Danny said he had been in three combat tours. He said, “We are hoping to go live near some friends in Wyoming on a 2000 acre ranch when I get out of the army in 2013.” He got very quiet and said he needed wide-open spaces, “…I just don’t want to be in crowds anymore. I don’t want to shoot a gun anymore. I just want to go live and work on a ranch in Wyoming with my family.” He softly rubbed that old horse’s furry ears and got an odd look on his face. We stared at the long grass dying on the orchard floor on that cool fall day. I quietly said, “I bet there’s more behind that story.” He nodded and looked me straight in the eyes for a long second. I could not help the tears spilling down my face and said, “Thank you for everything you’ve done to keep us safe.” I never saw him again but have never forgotten this young man.