“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate” (Unknown). It is you. You and the army beside you who have given us your freedom to substitute for the loss of our own. I couldn't express how much you have done for me and my family, our country. These are people you never knew and places you’ve never been. Yet, you’ve given us everything.
Three months. Or just about, anyways. You go from an ordinary lifestyle to something completely different. You go from eating dinner with your family and seeing your friends, your pets, your lover, to being completely secluded. That's just the start. That's just training. And I don't know how that sits with you but I know how it was for me. I know how hard it was to go from talking to someone every night and knowing exactly how their day went and being able to come home after a bad day to someone who would listen, to nothing. It was hard. It still is. I can't imagine how that must be for you. Being deployed and away from the people you care about, the lifestyle you came to follow, know, and love. You gave up a lot. More than I'd ever care to know.
I don't know. I don't who's reading this. I don't know if you fought in a war or what branch you’re in or even what rank you are. I don't know who or what you left behind. A family? Kids? Did you ever find your white picket fence? Did you even have the chance? I'm sorry. That's not going to change anything. But, I'm sorry you had to leave it all behind. I'm sorry for whatever death, heartache, and loss that you went through for our country's sake.
I know there's nothing I can do to change it all. I wish I could make it easier. I can't. For now all I can do is thank you for your service. Thank you for the time you spent away from your family so that I could be with mine. Thank you for all the hardships you faced so that we wouldn't have to. Thank you for loving your country and the people in it so much that you would sacrifice everything. Just, thank you.
I send you and your family my best wishes. May you only receive the best in life.