The month of November gives us so many opportunities to reflect and be thankful for our blessings. Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Day, for example, are great reminders of this, and I dare say it is no accident that they occur in the same month.
I took a picture to my mom at the nursing home this past weekend. The photo was of her in her nurse's uniform when she was a member of the Cadet Nursing Corp during WWII. Looking at the youthful woman with a full head of dark wavy hair, donning a white cap with a single stripe and wearing a white nurse's dress, she laughed and said, "I don't remember being that young." The photo of my dad in his navy uniform brought tears to her eyes as she ached for their life that once was -- so different from her current life of dependence on others. I am grateful to both of them for their service and the sacrifices that they made.
My father-in-law was a radar operator on a plane that flew rescue missions in Guam, a topic that he chooses to avoid for obvious reasons. He was particularly saddened this past week by the death of another soldier, except this soldier served in Vietnam. He was the husband of a good friend of mine. She has watched him suffer from numerous symptoms which were the result of exposure to Agent Orange. Over the past few years, he became good friends with my father-in-law while receiving dialysis treatments several times a week. They loved to discuss all things sports during their four hours in the chairs that they occupied side by side at the clinic. To these dear men, I salute them for their service, and for the ultimate price that one soldier has paid.
Because of these individuals and so many more, I choose to be grateful not only for family, health, and all that I possess, but also for the freedoms that I tend to take for granted. I would like to thank all service men and women who have fought in various wars throughout our history for these freedoms that our great nation provides. I am so grateful.