Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year to Our Troops

I had a great visit with one of my best friends (he is more like a brother really) just recently after his return from service in Afghanistan. 

As I think of what many of our troops face during their missions and deployments, I see it as the very definition of courage. Here is the meaning of the word

Courage:  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Being around members of our military is often awkward for me, and it is because of this word. I have never served in any of our forces, so I don't ever pretend to understand the sacrifice they have made. When I think of my own life, I simply and all-too-clearly see my lack of the things in this definition - mental toughness, perseverance, etc. Then, I compare that with what I see in a man or woman (regardless of age) in our military, where these traits seem to be in abundance. The discrepancy is overwhelming, and thus, the awkwardness.

I want to say, "Thank you." I want to say, "I appreciate you." I want to say, "What you do is amazing." But anything I want to say seems so insufficient.

So, to all troops, I start this year with an apology on behalf of myself and anyone else who feels the way I do. I am sorry that my words, our words, are so inadequate to express gratitude. They always will be. So, please just know that if we don't always say how much we admire and appreciate your commitment and bravery, then it is merely because we don't know how. There is no phrase we can share with you that conveys the value of the freedom we enjoy. It is deeper than that.

I pray for peace in 2014. Here is to a blessed New Year to all the men and women in uniform, and to their families.

Thanks, Dave, for sharing this version of the National Anthem:

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