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It is military appreciation month. For the past 15 days, I have been writing tributes to friends and family. Today, two more brave American servicemembers were killed, along with 4 American Civilian contractors and 9 Afghanis, including 2 children by a suicide bomber. Hizb-i-Islami, an insurgent group which is allied with the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.
But does it matter? It was senseless.
Today- I couldn’t do it. I was just sad.
Somewhere, a mother and father, or maybe a wife, perhaps siblings, is facing their ultimate fear, seeing a black sedan driven by military personnel in dress uniforms arrive at their home.
Soon, their friends and family, school children and veteran groups will line the streets to welcome home their hero for one last time. Poignant stories will be written in the hometown newspaper, friends from high school will reminisce about the fullness of their laughter, the crazy things they did before they became a soldier. It will be very beautiful and filled with pageantry. They died a hero, but that makes them no less grieved, no less loved, and no less gone.
Take a moment to thank the veteran in your life. They are there- you just need to look, to listen and to remember- we are a nation at war. Everyday- somebody’s child is facing the ultimate sacrifice to ensure you are free to disagree with your government, participate by casting your vote, and worship as you feel called to. Hug your children. Be thankful for the meal on your table. Delight in the blessing that you were born to the unearned privilege of being an American as you run to the mall without a thought to your safety.
You are blessed with the freedoms that the world envies. Whatever your practice, Include the families of these brave souls. And ask that they are the last. My prayers go out to all touch by the pain of these conflicts. On behalf of a grateful nation, Thank you …..for everything.