Respect For Service And Sacrifice

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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9 Comments

  1. Ed. Fellow travelers. When you see a USO in airports,stop in just to leave a donation. They won’t let you in w/o a military ID, but you’ll have a warm feeling throughout your travels. I have a military ID, and yesterday I stopped in a USO in RDU just to pick up a bottle of water, leave a $20 donation, and thank the troops resting there for their service. It means a lot to them.

  2. I have veteran’s and active military on both sides of my family, so respecting the military is huge for me. Active service is tough not only for a soldier but for their family as well. I appreciate how much they give so that we can be safe.

  3. Ed, thanks so much for your post and reminding everyone of the tough sacrifices that we all volunteer to make. Saying goodbye to your kid and explaining to them why you must go away is probably the hardest thing we ever do in the military. 32 years and counting…

    1. Glenn, thanks so much for your service. I can’t imagine how tough it is up say goodbye to your children before a long deployment, especially with some risk you might not return. I have a tough time on a 3-day trip to Denver. That sacrifice is real and appreciated.

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