“What do we mean by, ‘Thank you for your service?’
Is it thank you for writing a will at 18, before you may even understand who matters to you?
For kissing your parents goodbye, knowing you might not make it home?
For sleeping in the sand, underneath a vehicle with a helmet for a pillow?
For not showering for weeks at a time?
For wearing heavy gear in the hot sun?
For long marches and longer nights under a blanket of stars?
Do we thank you for the lives you took, knowing that it was just a part of the job?
Can we talk about it? Acknowledge that blood was shed? Or just offer a handshake and buy you a beer?
Do we thank you for what you lost—your limbs, your aching joints, your youth?
Is a medal enough? A parade? A discount?
How do we fully express the gratitude to those willing to sacrifice more than we could ever imagine?
How do we thank somebody for something most of us would never be willing to do?
How do we thank somebody for protecting us when they didn’t even know us, for keeping us safe, for keeping us free?
For me, the words get lost.
I could almost choke on them trying to get them out, to express how I feel—so I guess the best I can do is say,
‘Thank you for your service.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jess Firman of Detroit Moms. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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