We are 15 days away from Thanksgiving. I can taste it now. The turkey is moist. The sweet potato casserole is sweet. The green beans are fresh. The rolls are so soft.
We eat until we can’t breath and then crash in the living room. The guys are watching football and the ladies are planning their shopping as if they were the FBI planning a raid!
Surely this is the greatest day in America!
Christmas is 45 days away. The radio stations have begun playing Christmas music. The department stores are already decorated. And Starbucks has already offended every self righteous Christian imaginable.
People in general are in a better mood around Christmas time. The parties are being planned. The presents are being wrapped. The excitement is building by the day! I LOVE IT!
So maybe Christmas is the greatest holiday of the year.
Or Valentine’s Day. Or Easter. Or the 4th of July.
These are all incredible days for us in the United States. But may I suggest that there is one holiday that silently passes by every November. And I think it’s truly the greatest Holiday that Americans could celebrate.
1. We are able to live in peace… Because they serve.
I’m currently writing this from my smart phone while sipping on an Americano outside of a Starbucks. It’s a crisp 50 degree morning and the sun is shining bright. I have meetings scheduled all day long in the comfort of my office. My girls will show up to my office this afternoon and surround me with kisses.
Today will be a great day for me. A peaceful day. Chances are… Your day will be just as peaceful.
But let’s not forget… While we are having a peaceful day… There are others fighting halfway around the world for us. They choose to take the fight over there… Instead of the fight coming to us. For our protection. For our safety. For our security.
They have put themselves in harms way so we can live in peace. That’s incredible! The men and women who serve are truly the most selfless people on the planet.
And I have a few Veterans on my staff who remind me even on my toughest days… That nobody is shooting at me. All will be ok!
2. They spend time away from their family… So we can spend time with ours.
Remember the day your first child was born? Some of our service men do not! What about that first tee ball game or dance recital… Remember how cute our kids looked? Well there are quite a few men and women who will never have that memory.
Why…. They were out defending us, so we could have that memory.
They miss Birthdays, Anniversaries, Thanksgivings, Christmases, and so much more.
Again… For us!
And I’m convinced… The spouses and children of military families are heroes as well. Their sacrifice can largely go unnoticed.
3. They wouldn’t have it any other way.
These guys serve willingly. Faithfully. Without waiver. And they wouldn’t have it any other way. They take pride in what they do. They understand they are fighting for something bigger than themselves.
They don’t mind the sacrifice. They count it an honor to get out and serve along side of their brothers and sisters. Many have signed up to go back time and time again… to some of the most dangerous places on the planet. Even when they didn’t have too!
Serving their country is in their DNA.
And as one more reminder… They do it for us!
So the question begs to be asked….
What do we do for them?
1. We created a day to honor them.
But what we really do is make it another day for ourselves. We sleep in. We go shopping. Maybe catch a movie.
We enjoy a day away from work… And barely… If at all… Think about what the day really means.
2. We created a system to provide services once they retire.
The VA was created to take care of our soldiers once they come home and retire. And it has done everything but. The system is so incredibly messed up.
Even to the acknowledgment of Congress. Yet we aren’t doing much to fix the broken system. Our Veterans aren’t getting the care they deserve. Leaving many of them without proper medication.
And we’ve all seen the homeless Veteran on the side of the road asking for money. This simply should not be!
What was created to honor them has really done them a disservice.
Call to action:
There is little we can do to fix the VA system. It’s really a sad thing.
But we can all be better about honoring our Veterans.
- Buy them a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
- Take a Veteran out to dinner
- Don’t ignore the Veteran on the street corner asking for help.
- Even a simple “thank you” goes a long way in showing you appreciation. And something they don’t hear much of.
Veterans Day truly is the greatest Holiday in America. And it’s simply because of the sacrifice of others… We get to enjoy all the other holidays.
Don’t let today pass by without telling someone who serves or has served in our Military thank you!