Last weekend I was honored to be asked by a family friend to come to his National Guard unit's farewell ceremony. And so I went--in 90+ degree heat and yucky humidity, I joined about 10,000 family and friends to proudly watch these brave volunteers give their final march lap around the field before going off to war---for the second time in 2 years.
While thousands sat on the bleachers or on the grass, the soldiers stood at attention like statues for over 2 hours, not complaining, not flinching. How do they do it, I wonder? We were sweating in shorts and these soldiers were wearing heavy camaflauge gear, high boots and hats. I was melting and they were standing ready to serve. Yet, I didn't hear one complaint from anyone nearby. These were soldiers' families and they live at the heart of sacrifice. Braving extreme heat, long traffic jams and sunburn is nothing compared to what these 3,000 soldiers will be facing very shortly--something they know all too well now that they've already experienced a tour already.
I will pray every day for these men and women of all ages, races and faiths. I will pray and support them each day until they return. It's not about politics, it's not about whether this is a "right" war or not...for me it's all about these brave souls who are volunteering their physical, mental and emotional selves to protect us back home so that my family can feel safer.
Thank you all for doing that, for me, for my family, for my friends and neighbors that you don't know or ever will. Your selfless sacrifice makes you shining stars in my book.