" I think of those who, at recruitment or draft, write their name on a form as they register. They sign their name to a blank check that may require their very lives at time of redemption. Whether driven to the military by patriotism, duty or poverty, their signatures confirm a commitment that others can't or won't make.
A grateful patriot says, "Thank you."
I think of those who returned in silence, who weren't welcomed home, who mentally haven't taken their uniforms off because the wars rage on in their heads, still today.
A grateful patriot stands today with open arms and says, "Welcome home."
I think of those buried on foreign ground or in a hometown cemetery, with small American flags marking their graves, remembered by the others who served.
A grateful patriot says, "God, be with their families."
I think of veterans gathered at the Wallowa County Courthouse Memorial Day at noon who remember their comrades, with trumpeters echoing "Taps" while a few miles up the road American citizens are enjoying a day off from work. BBQ's and family reunions, fishing at the lake or camping- many don't "get" that the freedom to play this weekend comes from those willing to commit their lives through military service.
A grateful patriot says, "Freedom isn't free."
I think of my husband, Richard, who passed away from a
This grateful patriot wipes a tear from her eye.
A 50-something woman comes home to a place she's never been before.