Yesterday my BIL received his Purple Heart and the Joint Service Commendation medal with V device (V for valor). Words cannot even begin to express how proud I am of Sweet P. Not only is he a wonderful husband to my baby sister, but he is an outstanding soldier. He was injured in the line of duty several months ago and needless to say it was a bit stressful for us here stateside. The hardest part for him wasn't the physical aspect of it all, but leaving his fellow soldiers so he could actually come home and be taken care of. He didn't want to leave them behind. They may need him and he wouldn't be there. The sense of something greater than one's self...amazing, rare, beautiful.
For all of you opposed to the war, I understand where you are coming from. However, I understand the purpose of this mission. I understand that the work these brave men and women are doing is having a positive effect. I also understand that it is not merely a soldier's sacrifice, but a family who makes a sacrifice to help insure our security. I know what it's like to get a phone call from one of the people I hold closest to my heart and wonder what I can do for her to make things better, because she is sacrificing the chance of a "normal" life with her husband and child. As a wife of a Gulf War Veteran and former soldier and now the SIL of a soldier, the military is definitely a part of my life. Holidays and visits are dictated by block leave. Moving is dictated by what unit you are a part of and where they are stationed. And if you've never had to make this sort of sacrifice, please take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of those that live this life day in, day out. And everyone, take the time to thank a soldier. Not only do they deserve to hear it, they need to hear it.