Tonight I write an open letter of thanks to those who served and continue to serve in the armed forces.
Grandpa, Thank you for serving in the Army. Though you never repeated a word of what happened while you served I thank you for protecting the innocent and furthering liberty on foreign shores. I admire your courage, but most of all I admired your good heart.
Dad, Thank you for serving in the Navy SeaBees during Vietnam. You departed serving your country with no thought of whether you would return, but gave everything. Thank you for sharing the article where you took some winnings from a company pool and bought local schoolchildren in Vietnam supplies so they could better their lives. I felt the sadness in your heart when decades later you revealed upon retunring to your beloved country what horrid treatment you recieved. Thank you for loving the pocket watch with the SeaBees emblem I bought for you for Father's Day. It was a small token of my appreciation for your service from a daughter who loves you and is grateful for what you've done for our country.
Luke, I am grateful you've found a love of the Air Force and how much you've learned. I was touched when the flag you flew over Iraq reached your Uncle Don and I. It wasn't good enough simply to nail it up on the wall of the store. No, not this precious gift you've given us. So we framed it, to honor you for your service and for all you've served with. Stay safe and fly high.
Steve, Thank you for your service. During high school you were always a friend I knew could make me smile when I needed it. You were always there as a friend for me and I was never able to tell you how much I appreciated you. You gave your country the greatest gift any man could give. You gave your life far from home. I couldn't bear to attend your memorial though it was a few short miles from my home. YOU wouldn't be there, my dear friend...only your shell was there. I never had the opoortunity to thank you for your service...so today my friend I thank you for what you've always done the best...acted as a protector to all. Rest well my friend. Tomorrow and always you are in my thoughts and in my heart.
Thank you to all for your devotion and standing watch over liberty and freedom.