As I sit here at my regular coffee shop, sipping a latte, looking out the window at a spectacle of traditional winter wonderland and contemplate my final Christmas gift purchases, it occurred to me how fortunate I am. My blessings are countless. However, among my greatest blessings is my freedom. This is a blessing to which I owe a great debt of gratitude to our heroes – the men and women of our armed forces.
Contrast our comfort and coziness this season to the dry, dusty, dirty conditions of the middle east. Think about how we enjoy thoughts of sugar plums dancing in our heads, while they are scanning the horizon for terrorists, improvised explosive devices and other threats. While we laugh and mingle with loved ones at holiday parties, they’re working long hours counting on their brother or sister soldier to protect their back.
Even though I’d rather drink party punch and talk about football, each unique questioner deserves a thoughtful answer. At some sincere level, …(people are)… asking for a thoughtful opinion regarding the likelihood of life during a season proclaiming joy to the world weighed against the possibility of death at the hands of mass murders driven by a malignant religious zealotry.
Yes, we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the men and women of our armed forces. I just took a moment to say thank you, via the USO’s website. I hope you will do the same. You can send a thank you email to our protectors of freedom at the link below. Feel free to copy or use a version of my own note.
USO Holiday Thank You
Please take a moment to say thank you to our military men and women:
Sample Thank You Message
Below is the message I just sent. Please feel free to copy, modify or otherwise reuse this note:
Because I am not in your shoes, I know I will never fully appreciate the sacrifices you make for me, your family, your friends and your country every day. However, I am especially reflective of my gratitude this holiday season. I realize your sacrifice is made even greater during this time away from your loved ones.
It is because of your sacrifices that I am able to enjoy our freedoms. So with a great degree of sincerity and humility, I say simply, “thank you” for all you’ve done and continue to do for me, my family, my friends and our country.
Benjamin S. Lichtenwalner
Thank you, too, for taking the time to say thanks.
Question: Do you have a loved one in the military? What other ways do you suggest we show our appreciation this holiday season and throughout the year?