Thanking those who paid the cost

Charles Reed, Staff Writer

Walking through the parking lot the other day, I spotted a bumper sticker that made me think. 

It said, “If you’re thankful for your freedom, thank a vet.” 

Since then, I’ve started contemplating what being thankful to those who serve in our military actually means. For starters, we should stop and thank the service men and women we see around. A simple,“Thank you for your service” seems to raise their spirits, even if just for the second. 

My hope is to remind them of their importance no matter what their job is in the service. No matter how little or big, no matter if they are stationed at home or overseas, it’s needed.

I hope to inspire a grateful attitude for those brave people working to protect the rights we sometimes take for granted. For example, anytime you speak up about your rights or opinions when you feel they’re being violated, just remember, you could be in a place where that’s not legal and could cost you monetarily or, even worse, your life.

Keeping in mind, many of those brave men and women that have returned home from service, and aren’t getting much support. These people gave up so much to fight and coming home to a place that won’t speak up for them or support them in ways that they need is hardly a fair trade off. Remember that the next time you hear the song “Some Gave All” by Billy Ray Cyrus, especially  when he says, “Think of all your liberties and recall, some gave all.”

Also, remember those that served in World War II. There are stories that some of those veterans could tell you that would reawaken your sense of American pride. Obviously, I’m not saying war is good. But, we do need to be mindful as to why we go to war at all.

In this imaginary “perfect” world where there is no war at all, we’d need to know that our military would still be needed to keep watch making sure we stay safe.

The bravery of these men and women is unmatched. People who give up their own rights and sometimes even their families to keep ours safe at home is beyond noble.

Saying goodbyes and leaving families behind can be incredibly hard for our service members, so we should also be thankful to the families of those who are serving because of their strength and bravery as well.

The parties, parades and celebrations should never end, even if it’s within our own hearts, every time we see that soldier coming home.

The freedoms that these veterans allow us to have is far too numerous to list.

There is a popular concept that most of us know as “the American dream.” In addition, we also believe in Thomas Jefferson’s claim that we all have the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Just think about it: we wouldn’t have those freedoms without our military, so let’s be thankful.