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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  ~Cynthia Ozick

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Today is Veteran’s Day, and I couldn’t let the day go by without posting about it. Growing up my parents talked often of the sacrifice of the military. Both grandpas were in the military (I have all the Letters from War from one of them), my Uncle put in a full 20 years, and most importantly my little brother is now in the military. I was raised to understand the sacrifice that they and their families gave. I have to say that when my brother left for basic training, I definitely cried. I was So. Proud. of him, but as my baby brother, I was scared for him and my family. I realized that in many ways we were giving him up to something bigger than our family. It’s unpredictable, scary, and involves great sacrifice from those men and women and their families. It’s easy to take these men and women for granted when we don’t see them putting their lives on hold or on the line. So on this day especially, I challenge you to think about the great sacrifice that thousands of men and women have made for you throughout the years. I challenge you to pray for them and their families. I challenge you to be thankful for their service.

Here are a few ways to show you care:

  • Send a USO Care Package to a solider
  • Find a way to volunteer with USO
  • Adopt a military family for Christmas
  • Volunteer with The Soldiers Project to help provide free counseling services to soldiers and their loved ones
  • Volunteer at a local VA
  • When you see a soldier, say a simple “thank you for your service” and smile
  • Give support and encouragement to the families of deployed soldiers
  • If you are at a restaurant or gas station, offer to pay for the soldier’s food or gas as a way of saying thank you for their service
  • Download the Charity Miles App to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

And, from the bottom of my heart, to all soldiers and their loved ones- thank you for your courage and sacrifice. I know that a thank you doesn’t make it easier or bring your solider home. But please know that their/your sacrifice is deeply appreciated. Freedom isn’t free…

Now it’s your turn to share! I know I only mentioned a few of the many ways to help soldiers and their families! If you have any ideas or personal experiences, please share them! How have you said “thanks” to those in the military?