To the momma who sent her baby off in uniform and never touched his face again. To the dad who mumbled a quick goodbye, tears held in.
To the little girl and boy who never really understood why their parent had to go away for a long time, and after the waiting, were told that they would never see them again.
To the loves left at home, worry binding their stomachs, only to have their worst fear come to fruition.
To the 18 year old who buttoned the uniform with pride and never took it off. To the 42 year old with a career nearly done and kids at home. To the woman who went against the grain, said goodbye to her family, and served her country, only to never make it back home.
To the millions who gave us what we have today. To the shockwaves of people who have had hearts broken and lives changed forever by the losses.
The blood spilled on soil. The bodies broken in ways it was never intended to be. The brother and sisterhoods formed and the bonds those of us who haven’t experienced it can never understand.
Thank you. Because of you, my children go to school. Because of you, I can walk my little ones into a church building with a Bible in full view. Because of you, I can share my faith and give my opinion without fear of danger coming my way. Because of you, I can write the words I write. Because of you I grew up without fear of enemy invasion, bombs, or artillery, and because of you my children don’t even understand such things.
Because of your death, I live the life I do.
My heart is grateful for you, soldier. Always.