To say thank you to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice doesn't really work, does it? They can't hear me. Their families can though. We can honor our dead, remember them, and thank their families - who may not have agreed with the decision made (at 17 or 20) to go off and put their lives on the line. I know that I did not agree when my son, who had nothing but shining promise ahead of him at 17, decided to join the Army. I thought I was going to die when he left. And the year he spent in Iraq made an old woman out of me. But, oh, how I respect him, and how proud I am of the man he has become! And the mystery of how two old hippies managed to have this honorable son, willing to suit up and show up through some really tough duty - is beyond me. I can't even write this stuff without crying.
I am so grateful to live in the United States of America, words cannot begin to convey. Despite all of our problems, we still have greatness. I'm grateful to be an American, and I proudly fly the stars and stripes from my front porch today. Maybe as a sober woman, I can bring something to this country instead of taking something away. Maybe I can be an asset!