Did you vote? This Veteran's Day, thank our veterans for protecting that right and all our freedoms. Thank them for their willingness to serve and for their love of our country. Beyond that think about what they had to do to keep us free. Most don't talk too much about it, but I'm sure you've picked up a few hints.
The veterans I have known left home and family for some basic training and more training after that. Some were drafted - most volunteered. They learned to handle weapons and survive in hostile places.
Veterans I have known fought Nazism by marching across Germany and guarding the docks of New York City. They slugged their way across Africa and Italy. They baked in the sun on islands in the Pacific to stop Japan's imperialism. They were captured by the enemy. They became chaplains. They guarded against the encroachment of Communism in Korea and Vietnam. They slugged through leech-infested swamps, flew over enemy territory and watched their buddies get blown up by children with grenades. They were spit on when they came home.
Veterans I have known and their families moved again and again all over the world. Some flew in airplanes with bombs, cargo and troops into dangerous places. Some taught others how to fly. They served on aircraft carriers and had to ditch into the sea. They watched over our nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. They maintained military equipment and kept it ready to be deployed at a moment's notice. They were shot down in helicopters. They guarded our embassies and gathered intelligence. They survived IED explosions, while their friends laid dead and injured in the wreckage in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism. They deployed for months on end in the desert, on ships and in submarines. They lived lives of utter boredom interjected with moments of sheer terror.
They came back to civilian life with nightmares we can't imagine and stories they will never tell. They are the survivors.
They did what they did, so that in safety and peace we can cast our votes. So that we can practice our faith. So that we can speak our minds. So that we can live as free men and women.
Let's stop taking them for granted. Spend some time today thinking about the veterans who have touched your life and the sacrifices they made. And then do something for them.
Thank them and pray for them.
Contact your Congressman demanding our veterans receive the best health care and all the benefits to which they are entitled.
Send a donation to one of the many charities that help veterans and their families.
Make a commitment to live all 365 days of the year as a proud American who loves liberty and shows gratitude to those who protect it.
To make America good, it is time for us all to be patriots once again.