Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” — Isaiah 6:8
Today is about those who will go for us. About those who willingly go into harm’s way to protect the citizens and interests of this great nation. Those who sacrifice their own comfort and safety to protect America’s way of life.
Sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend this kind of selflessness. But then again, maybe it isn’t. What would you do if your loved ones were in danger? How far would you go to protect those who mean most to you? Would you sacrifice your own well-being to protect that of those dearest to you?
On some level, each of us understands this kind of sacrifice. It isn’t too great a stretch to imagine sacrificing yourself for those you love most.
But now imagine making those same sacrifices for people you don’t know. Or for people who don’t support the work that you do. Or for those who seek the things that are contrary to this nation and its values. Or for those who would boycott the funerals of your brothers and sisters-in-arms to promote a personal agenda.
Not so easy to imagine anymore.
But for our nation’s warriors, the choice is easy.
They fight to protect freedom, and the unpleasant corollaries that come with it.
They fight to protect us from evil forces that seek to do us harm.
And they always fight for one another. Because no matter the underlying causes or principles, the safety of those with them in battle is always their priority.
So I say thank you to all our veterans, past and present, for their service. Thank you for protecting our nation and its way of life. Thank you that you are a constant reminder of all that is good and right in our nation.
I consider it a privilege and an honor to know some of you personally. You inspire me daily, and I am humbled that you would do all this for me and other Americans. I am thankful that my husband serves beside the finest warriors any nation has to offer, and my prayers are with you daily.
I also say thank you to the families who serve on the home front so that our warriors may serve elsewhere. You provide comfort and support to our nation’s heroes, and to those who love them. Many of you are raising another generation of heroes, oftentimes as a solo act. Thank you that you, too, sacrifice your personal comfort for the benefit of others.
Saying thank you seems insufficient. And one day of recognition doesn’t seem like enough. But the reality is that you’ve paid a price for us that we can never possibly repay.
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for an amount up to, and including, his life.
Thank you for never looking at the price tag.