Before we get caught up in the hoopla of Military Appreciation Month (it starts in May), you people in uniform need to know some things.
Full disclosure: this article isn’t based on polls, or surveys, or statistics. Instead, it is based on what I see and hear all around me. You have to remember that a relatively small number of people control what you see on TV or read in the paper. I’d like to speak to what I think the vast majority of the rest of us think. I may be wrong, but I doubt it.
Americans love the U.S. military. I talk to people on all sides of the political spectrum – liberals and conservatives, doves and hawks, Republicans and Democrats – and not once have I heard anyone say something negative about what you do, or how you do your job.
The ones you hear about on the news – the ones who protest in front of the Marine recruiting office or disrupt public hearings – they’re fools and the and the rest of us know it.
We respect you. We know you have sacrificed for the rest of us. We know you endure hardships and family separation to serve your country, and we worry about your safety. We know you are motivated by a higher cause and not by money or fame.
We are patriotic. Don’t let the nay-sayers fool you. Americans love their country. We will disagree on a lot of things like politics, or policy, or procedures. But we don’t want to live anywhere else. And when it gets right down to it, we know who makes it possible for us to live in a country where we have the freedom to disagree.
Americans want to do something to thank you, but we often don’t know how. Consequently, you see our appreciation take many forms, like sending packages to “any soldier”, sticking “Support Our Troops” ribbons on our cars, or volunteering at the local VA. But even if some of us don’t do anything at all, we want to.
So on behalf those who don’t know how to express their appreciation, and for those you don’t read about in the news, let me say thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices, and for the way you conduct yourselves as you represent us around the world. Thanks for guaranteeing our liberties, and for spreading hope to those who live under oppression.
Military appreciation isn’t just a month on the calendar. It is real, and it’s heartfelt.
I may be wrong, but I doubt it.