I was clearing security in an airport on my way home this morning, eager to see my family after a few days away. I miss them when I’m gone, which likely comes as no surprise to those that read my blog on a regular basis. Even though I spend a good portion of time away from the family, I’m lucky.
As I headed up the escalator towards security, a handful of military folks in uniform hopped on the escalator in front of me. At the top, they headed off to one side and I took a walk around the very small terminal before getting in line to clear security.
As I walked towards security, I noticed a woman in uniform saying goodbye to her husband/boyfriend. It was a tearful goodbye, one that likely signaled she was heading out to active duty.
I didn’t serve in the military. I spent some time in ROTC a million years ago, and that time helped reinforce how much I respect those who serve. Back then, I look at military service through the lens of the strength and discipline one needed to serve.
Now that I’m married with kids, I see it through the lens of the immense sacrifice members of our military make. Spending long periods of time away from those you love must be an incredible sacrifice. It’s one that I’ll likely never have personal experience to understand.
The goodbye over, this woman looked back as her loved one blew a kiss and shared a last glance. We moved through the security line. I quietly thanked her for her service and then walked through the metal detector.
I’m sitting at my gate, ready to come home to my family. She’s sitting at her gate, heading away from her family. She does so voluntarily, to protect those things we hold most dear. For that, I have a tremendous amount of respect.
We’re reminded to thank veterans and members of the military at certain times of year. At other times, it may be easier to forget the sacrifice of others. If you see a member of the military or a veteran today, or even in the near future, think about taking a moment to thank them for their service.
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