o7, SgtGrunt...and all those who served. One of the most profound moments in my life happened at my granddad's graveside. He was a WWII Vet (North African and European theaters), and an honor guard from the local VFW honored his service by playing Taps and giving him a 21-gun salute. I still have...and will always have...one of the bullets fired, and I'm not ashamed to say that I cried...with a strong mixture of sadness and pride. He was a great man...strong in his principles, faithful to his wife and family, hard-working, and American to the core...but he always considered his military service to be his life's greatest accomplishment. He helped to defeat Hitler's evil empire and preserve our freedom, and was away from his wife and kids for 3 solid years, with nothing but a few intermittent and censored letters to remind him of what was waiting for him back home. We talked about his war experience many times, and the more I learned about it, the more I admired him and his comrades for the dangers they faced and the sacrifices they made.
All veterans make sacrifices when they choose to serve...it takes courage, patriotism, and character to put on the uniform and do what has to be done. I had the opportunity and wasn't up to the challenge, and it's something I've regretted ever since. I'm glad there are so many good men and women out there who do make the choice to serve, because they make our way of life possible...and they also serve as good examples to the rest of us. If you want to make a difference in this world...be a soldier, a sailor, or a pilot...there's no greater profession in the world than a member of the military. From a grateful husband and father, thanks for making this world a better place for all of us.