An Open Letter of Thanks to Veterans

In my opinion, our American military veterans have really gotten the public shaft for nearly 40 years.  So, I'm determined to put in my two cents' worth for anyone who cares to read it. 

Let me start by simply saying, "Thank you." To every man and woman who preserved my liberty this year, and for all of you who have ever proudly worn our Nation's uniform, I say, "Thank you!"

Today I read a book, which I bought from a bookstore a mile from my home.  There are more books in that Barnes & Noble than once filled an entire library, and they represent the independent thought and ideas of thousands and thousands of people living free.  For this weighty privilege, I say, "Thank you!"

Last Sunday, I attended mass with my family.  We worshiped God in the exact manner of our own choosing.  And I am sadly reminded that there are millions of other people still suffering dire religious persecution, even death, doled out by governments that do not respect this inalienable right.  To all my American soldiers, past and present, I say, "Thank you!"

Our daughter went to college classes today.  There she studies and argues with her professors.  She is hammering out her own view of the world in safety, and with the dignity of a free woman in charge of her own destiny.  To all of you veterans, wherever you are, she and I say, "Thank you!"

For the dozens of freedoms that we ordinary citizens have enjoyed every single day of our lives in America, we are grateful to you.  We take it all for granted, you know, and only express our thanks one day a year.  I'm ashamed of that, truly ashamed. 

We hardly ever stop to even consider the sacrifices you have made and are making this very day in far away places, with scant comfort, if any at all, and yet you don't complain.  You just continue to serve and give and demonstrate genuine love for us every day.  Day in and day out.  In danger.  In fatigue.  In strange places all over the world.  We are more indebted to you than we will ever even comprehend.

I am ashamed of my Countrymen who denounce you, who call you despicable names, who tell the world you are criminals.  These scoundrels don't deserve the freedom for which you risk your lives.  But the truth is that none of us deserves what you do. 

And it is also true, that unless one has been in battle, one does not truly understand the depth of your passion for liberty.  To families that have borne no soldiers, you are an enigma.  To cowards, you are a shaming presence, a constant reminder of their weakness.  To your parents, you represent both the mountaintop of pride, and the deepest valley of concern that mothers and fathers can ever know.  And to most of us ordinary citizens, you are the unseen, under-appreciated protectors of all that we hold dear.

I have lived in America all my life, for 56 years now, and every single night when I have laid my head upon my pillow, you were somewhere watching over my safety.  For every single one of those nights of peaceful rest, I simply say, "Thank you!"

You serve and fight for the greatest Nation in the history of civilization.  There has never been a grievous wrong that good Americans have not sought to rectify.  There has never been a just cause on which America has turned her back for long.  You, our soldiers, have been and continue to be, the greatest force for freedom and human rights ever gathered.  You have raised our flag around the world, not for domination, but to bring greater liberty and a better way of life.  You are the reason America remains a beacon of hope to the entire world.     

You seek neither glory nor riches, nor even fame.  You are our best, our brightest, our bravest.  Please always know that even when we don't show it, we love you.  We appreciate you.  We thank you.  And we will never forget you or forsake you.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.
In my opinion, our American military veterans have really gotten the public shaft for nearly 40 years.  So, I'm determined to put in my two cents' worth for anyone who cares to read it. 

Let me start by simply saying, "Thank you." To every man and woman who preserved my liberty this year, and for all of you who have ever proudly worn our Nation's uniform, I say, "Thank you!"

Today I read a book, which I bought from a bookstore a mile from my home.  There are more books in that Barnes & Noble than once filled an entire library, and they represent the independent thought and ideas of thousands and thousands of people living free.  For this weighty privilege, I say, "Thank you!"

Last Sunday, I attended mass with my family.  We worshiped God in the exact manner of our own choosing.  And I am sadly reminded that there are millions of other people still suffering dire religious persecution, even death, doled out by governments that do not respect this inalienable right.  To all my American soldiers, past and present, I say, "Thank you!"

Our daughter went to college classes today.  There she studies and argues with her professors.  She is hammering out her own view of the world in safety, and with the dignity of a free woman in charge of her own destiny.  To all of you veterans, wherever you are, she and I say, "Thank you!"

For the dozens of freedoms that we ordinary citizens have enjoyed every single day of our lives in America, we are grateful to you.  We take it all for granted, you know, and only express our thanks one day a year.  I'm ashamed of that, truly ashamed. 

We hardly ever stop to even consider the sacrifices you have made and are making this very day in far away places, with scant comfort, if any at all, and yet you don't complain.  You just continue to serve and give and demonstrate genuine love for us every day.  Day in and day out.  In danger.  In fatigue.  In strange places all over the world.  We are more indebted to you than we will ever even comprehend.

I am ashamed of my Countrymen who denounce you, who call you despicable names, who tell the world you are criminals.  These scoundrels don't deserve the freedom for which you risk your lives.  But the truth is that none of us deserves what you do. 

And it is also true, that unless one has been in battle, one does not truly understand the depth of your passion for liberty.  To families that have borne no soldiers, you are an enigma.  To cowards, you are a shaming presence, a constant reminder of their weakness.  To your parents, you represent both the mountaintop of pride, and the deepest valley of concern that mothers and fathers can ever know.  And to most of us ordinary citizens, you are the unseen, under-appreciated protectors of all that we hold dear.

I have lived in America all my life, for 56 years now, and every single night when I have laid my head upon my pillow, you were somewhere watching over my safety.  For every single one of those nights of peaceful rest, I simply say, "Thank you!"

You serve and fight for the greatest Nation in the history of civilization.  There has never been a grievous wrong that good Americans have not sought to rectify.  There has never been a just cause on which America has turned her back for long.  You, our soldiers, have been and continue to be, the greatest force for freedom and human rights ever gathered.  You have raised our flag around the world, not for domination, but to bring greater liberty and a better way of life.  You are the reason America remains a beacon of hope to the entire world.     

You seek neither glory nor riches, nor even fame.  You are our best, our brightest, our bravest.  Please always know that even when we don't show it, we love you.  We appreciate you.  We thank you.  And we will never forget you or forsake you.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.