#ThirtyThankfuls Day 11: Heroes.

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It’s Veteran’s Day here in the United States–a day we honor those who have served and continue to serve in the different branches of our armed forces.

The cultural discussion around military service is often fraught with all manner of experiences, feelings, and agendas. But today, I don’t want to argue about foreign policy or military leadership decisions.

I just want to say thank you to those who have devoted their lives to the service of others. I have had family members who have served in the military–cousins in the Army Corp of Engineers, grandfathers in the Army and Navy. I have friends who have served or are currently serving in active duty and as reservists.

I am not a military man. I confess, I don’t think I have the discipline. But I have a deep well of respect for those who have committed to protect and defend others — men and women who have committed to a cause greater than themselves and are willing to sacrifice all to complete their duties. I am humbled by the sacrifices of families who have given up missed birthdays and holidays, who have foregone months or years of memories never made because of trainings and deployments. I am moved by every video of a service member returning home to surprise their families, and the beautiful glimpse of heaven at their reuniting.

So, thank you to the men and women who serve our nation and defend the cause of freedom in far-flung places. Thank you to the spouses, children, parents, and friends of those who have borne this responsibility. Thank you to those who have paid the ultimate price, and my deepest thanks and sympathies to the ones who had to mourn their passing.

Service member, you are not perfect, and we don’t expect you to be. But we, your countrymen, see your faithfulness and your sacrifice, we are honored by your service, and we are forever in your debt. God bless you.