As we enter the month of turkeys, relatives and elections, it’s easy to forget how much we take for granted.
From our mouthfuls of gobbler, to our time spent with family and our freedom to choose our own representatives we forget what we have.
We forget what so many gave their lives for and put themselves at risk to protect.
We forget, but some do not.
Certain families will look around their dinner tables and find empty seats left behind by those who are serving in the military.
Some siblings will miss their brothers or sisters.
Some parents will miss their sons or daughters.
And some children will miss their parents.
Known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day internationally, in the U.S. it goes by Veterans Day.
Whatever one calls it, we at Pierce College want to take moment to thank the men and women who gave and are giving their blood, sweat and tears serving this country.
It’s not always easy to serve given the state of our country’s political landscape, declining credibility on the global scale and increasingly worse standing in the Middle East.
However, the people on the ground with their feet in the boots and heads dug in under the trenches are not politicians or diplomats–they are our friends, neighbors, and relatives.
They did not choose to serve to indorse a fiscal policy or to protect an asset.
They do so because they love this country and its freedoms, and for that, we thank those for serving regardless of age or gender, religion or ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
For despite all their differences, when they put on their uniforms, they just become red, white and blue to our enemies.
It is they who are really are our ambassadors and diplomats.
And while our men and women stand in some foreign land getting spit on and told they’re unwelcome, we say thank you, because often our politicians only seem to do so when it provides a favorable sound bite.
In an age when we watch war on our TV sets as if it were some sort of video game, we sometimes forget the very human sacrifices our troops have made and continue to make.
As a nation we may feel a disconnect with the world around us, but let us not view those brave men and women as a collection of pixels on CNN.
They are so much more than that.
They are a reflection of us as nation, and they hurt and bleed just as easily as our own flesh.
And the sacrifices they have made and make cannot always be documented as a wound or casualty.
Some wounds linger far beneath the physical flesh and scar for life, and some casualties are not defined by death.
Some scars are often mental and in this day and age of modern warfare, which leaves chemically polluted battlefields in its wake, a lot of casualties go unaccounted for. Just ask victims of Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome.
So, we thank you veterans, and at the same time ask our leaders to take into account the thousands of lives at risk and the thousands of lives lost, not as a means for political gain, but to reflect on the sacrifices being made, even now…