Whether the day is one that involves commuting to Columbus or is one where I work from home, I end each day with my favorite person, my husband, Gary. Surrounded by our dogs, we talk about the day and settle into an evening filled with love, laughter and good conversation. Even though every day closes in this manner, I am overwhelmed with gratitude each and every evening and I think of those who are separated from the ones they love.
In November, we celebrate those who courageously separated from their families and friends as they embarked on their journeys serving in the military. Some returned home after months, some after years, and some never returned. Some families packed up and moved once, and some moved time and time again to stay together as much as could be possible during the years served.
I have had to be brave many times when my life has been threatened, but the incidents were random and I certainly never willingly signed up to put my life in danger. Our military members never know what peril they might face day after day, month after month and year after year, yet they volunteer to stand in the potential fray. And while I greatly appreciate the bravery of our military, I am not able to fully comprehend that level of courage.
I think about the years that Gary served in the Coast Guard, and I am proud, inspired and in awe of him. I am also very thankful that we were not sharing our lives together when he served. I don’t know how I would have made it through the days worrying and wondering where he was and what dangers he might have been facing from enemies manmade and of nature. I would not have been patient. I would not have kept a positive attitude. And I would not have been pleasant. To put it simply, I would not have been someone you would have wanted to invite over for a cup of coffee let alone for dinner.
So while I am thinking of veterans this November and extremely grateful for their bravery, I am also thinking of the circle of family and friends around each of those veterans. I am praying for happiness and wellness for our veterans and that they know how greatly appreciated they are. I hope that they are spending their days surrounded by loved ones and immersed in laughter and peace.