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This Thanksgiving I am thankful for those who protect and serve our country. I may not agree with how the government is run or what takes priority but God help me if I don’t support and pray for those who fight and die for my right to disagree. I have three uncles who are Army Veterans, a brother who is a Marine, a brother who would be if he could be, and a brother going into the Air Force to continue the legacy of pride and service.

Every war and every disaster leaves its mark. For some, we can forget because we just stood on the sidelines to watch and weep. But for others, they can never forget. They can’t fill the empty space left by a loved one, drown out the screams of friends and strangers alike, unlearn the smell of burning flesh and decay.

For those who died in the line of duty, being the best of humanity, showing courage and selflessness though it may have been thankless. For those who survived but we unable to cope with what was done, what was witnessed, what was felt, for those whose sacrifice wasn’t their life but their dignity and their sanity. For those who made it home to fight another battle either on another field or on their own home street. For those had to stay behind, to worry and wait. For those who gave up their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, and friends. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am sorry that I forget about the sacrifices made. I am sorry for the freedoms I take for granted every day. But I promise that every time I remember that I will also help someone else remember. Not to remember the hurt or the horror but to remember the sacrifice, love, devotion, bravery, and honor. To remember that these people we may have never met fought to protect those we hold most dear. To you, I say thank you. Thank you.