Recently, after years of taking care of themselves and their three children, my elderly parents made the choice to move into an assisted living facility. In that facility, I noticed that there is a Wall of Honor, dedicated to those men and women who are residents and served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The photos of these proud people, both in uniform and not, reflect generations who knew hardship, sacrifice and pride. I look at the wall when I am there and it takes my breath away to be in the presence of such amazing people. They are what is right in this world, both now and in times past.
For several years, I worked as a contractor to the U.S. Army. During this time I had the honor of meeting and getting to know many men and women serving in the ongoing wars in which the U.S. is engaged from all branches of the military. Many people refer to the World War II generation of service members as the “greatest generation,” a title rightfully earned. However, as I had the privilege of meeting today’s soldiers, airmen and sailors, I firmly believe we need to realize, understand and appreciate those who volunteer today to serve, protect and defend the U.S. and democracy around the world. These young men and women are just as dedicated, valiant and understated as those that came before them. I know that 70 years from now, these same people will have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and young friends who will be walking into a place that has a Wall of Honor and will realize that, once again, this is what is right in this world.
To those who have endured or are facing the hardships, separations and dangers of being deployed to a war zone, I can only say a very humble “thank you.”