Though it is not a common greeting, I have heard these kind words from strangers. Mostly when we are moving. It is very apparent by our loaded down vehicles, we are in the middle of a PCS. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I say thank you, climbing back into my car filled with pride. You see, when I really think about those who have sacrificed so much more, I am stopped dead in my tracks. Overcome by tears. I am so incredibly grateful God has not asked that ultimate sacrifice of my family. Although we've been separated, our Daddy has come home to us. Every time. It is our prayer every night he is away, "God, please bring Daddy home, safely and quickly." A prayer He has answered so many, many times over the years.
Others have said those same prayers For some reason, we have no way of understanding, those prayers have not been answered. At least not in a way we, as mere humans would like. So today we took the kiddos to mass, to pray for those veterans and their families. Those who have died, so that I may enjoy the many freedoms too many in our country take for granted. For those who are left behind, trying to fill a hole in their hearts that only God can mend. For those who only know a photo as their parent. My heart aches for each and every one of them.
To all of them I say, "Thank you for your service. I have not forgotten you."