Today is Veteran's Day.
This means that everyone is saying thanks to all those brave military men and women who have served or are serving. It's kinda like the 4th of July, when everyone becomes totally patriotic and flies the American Flag and wears red, white, and blue. I think that's great.
I also think our gratitude as a nation to our military shouldn't be limited to 1 or 2 days a year.
I get the military. I was a military wife. My sister is Navy, and her husband is currently serving as a medic attached to a Marine unit in Afghanistan.
These guys work their asses off in sometimes awful locations, with terrible hours, little pay, and even less respect. I can't even tell you how many times our plans as a family were placed on hold or scratched all together because the military's needs came first. It just is the way it is. They will call at any time of day or night, and our soldiers are just required to go.
These men and women work weekends, holidays, and their children's birthdays. They don't put in 8 hours and then head home. Oftentimes, they work days at a time. Or they get to spend weeks and months away from home for training or deployment.
And it's not like they are well-paid for their sacrifice. Almost half of military families E5 and below live at or below the poverty line. The military is certainly NOT a career for those who hope to make a lot of money. Sure, military families get separation pay and hazardous duty pay when they are deployed, but ask yourself - How much money would be worth it to me to have my loved one overseas for months or years at a time, in dangerous situations, with little to no communication? Trust me, it's waaay more than the US is paying.
But they don't do it for the money. Or the benefits. Or the respect. Or the prestige.
They do it for us. For our country. For our freedoms.
And we should be able to appreciate that. Everyday.
So today, thank a veteran. Buy them lunch. Cover their bar tab. Get their coffee. Let them know how much they are appreciated by the country they serve.
And then, do it tomorrow too. And next week. And next month.
Because they are sacrificing for us every day!