Showing love to our veterans and their families

One of the most enduring memories of my parents’ courtship is a story my 77-year-old father told me as we were preparing to celebrate our parents 40th anniversary 15 year ago.

He was a young Marine stationed overseas at a time filled with uncertainty. My mother’s letters, he said, were his saving grace. “A lot of girls promised to write me,” he said. “But your mother was the only one who did.” He knew then that she was the one. He would read her letters and look at the moon when he was homesick, knowing that she too was looking at the same moon.

Our soldiers need that kind of lifeline when they are serving far away from home in countries very different from America. In addition to putting their lives on the line, they leave behind children, spouses and other relatives. Letters and packages from home are looked forward too more than we realize. So too is appreciation for active military personnel. Whenever I fly in and out of Atlanta’s airport, it is wonderful to see the support and respect our troops receive. They deserve all we can give them every day, as do their families who sacrifice so much in the name of our freedom.

Show your appreciation to a retired or active military man and woman. Today,  I’m thinking of my father and his service to our country; my uncle, Walter Mack, who served in the Korean Conflict as a cook; my friend Robert Marks, a retired Marine Chaplain; and all of my cousins, uncles and friends who served this country so bravely.  I love you and appreciate you today and always.

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