I'm walking through the airport after a stressful day of waiting on late planes, missing crew and feeling exhausted after a mentally draining weekend...when I come across some soldiers sitting in a waiting area. They were dressed in their gear and looked tired.
My heart always seems to drop as I think about where they could be heading, and my mind always goes to Japan where my brother is serving. Visions of my brother in Afghanistan....pictures from the news....headlines of soldiers getting killed... but good thoughts to - of the bravery displayed, courage shown and love for a country.
I consider it my civilian responsibility to thank our soldiers every time I see one. They do what I can't, and maybe won't. So, here I go - I approach the soliders, extend my hand to the first and say "thank you for serving". I noticed his wedding band and felt myself choke up... oh no, not again. As I turned to thank the second solider I felt my eyes burn and I knew I needed to do this and then move on quickly. "Thank you for serving....we appreciate it" I barely whispered as I noticed his eyes begin to well. OH NO... he looked at me and at this point I couldn't see him because of the tears that were taking over my eye space. Too late... I start to cry as I manage a goodbye smile and make a mad dash to the bathroom.
THANK OUR SOLDIERS...THEY ARE LEAVING BEHIND FAMILIES, FRIENDS and LIFE FOR OUR SAKES! NO SOLDIER SHOULD BE SUPRISED BY SOMEONE SAYING THANK YOU - IT SHOULD BE THE NORM!