An open letter to the men, women and families of those that served, are serving or ever will serve.
First off I come from a military family, as does my wife. We have a sincere appreciation and love for the sacrifices our brave warfighters and their families have made. Those that have made the ultimate sacrifice I can only offer my families sincere thank you and prayers.
My father served almost 20 years in the Army, as a member of the 101st. My cousin was in the Navy, serving on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson. My brother in law served in the 1st Air Cavalry during Vietnam. My cousin was one of the members of the Delta team portrayed in Blackhawk Down and my Father in Law served in the Army during Vietnam as well. My Grandfather was on Omaha Beach on D-Day.
I say all that not to impress, because I never had the honor of serving. No I say that to make sure anyone reading this that currently serves, or has served, understands how much we admire and respect those who serve and the sacrifices their families have made.
But I wanted to make sure of one other thing.
I wanted to make sure every one of you, no matter the branch, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, knows the respect, admiration and pride with which all true Americans hold for you. I thank God every day I was born in a country that makes people like you. Your selfless sacrifice not just for your family and mine, but for people you have never met, halfway around the world is awe inspiring.
I had the honor of spending two lengthy USO tours in the Middle East, Germany, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. I know what I saw on every occasion was not what I was reading about. I met hundreds of citizens who were in tears at their gratefulness to you and your brothers/sisters in arms for your sacrifice. I spent some time at Camp Bucca and was bowled over at the wall of letters from citizens who had learned to read and write under the tutelage of soldiers. Thousands of letters thank you for saving them, their families and giving them a possible future filled with freedom.
Sale Solata, Michael Donahue, Kelly Greene. Those three were part of my body detail along with my college roommate Ty Van Dyke. I am absolutely honored to call them friends for life. I was honored to be able to re-enlist Kelly, and be present for Sale’s promotion at Ft Bragg. I want them to know how much I respect the careers they chose.
When I think of the world today, as hard as some things may be, I remember them, and their comrades, and it’s not hard to smile.
But in this day and age so few give so much to so many with no expectation of a return. It’s “what you do”, and that somehow just doesn’t get across to many. Just know anyone in this nation that loves its heritage, the Flag and our proud history cannot begin to express our gratitude that you man your post every day for freedom loving people around the world.
So in closing, thank you, God Bless each and every one of you and your families.
From the Schillings