But this year is a little different, and will be from this point on. Now I am the Veteran. Whoa. When I think of Vets I think of guys with the cool hats with all the pins and buttons, sitting at a VFW sipping on bad beer and trading war stories and showing scars. Not me. I am only 32...I have a wife and a kiddo in diapers...but now I can check the box on job applications that says "Veteran." Weird.
But as I wrap my head around it...it does sink in. I have served for only 4 years, was gone for 1 of them in Afghanistan. I saw my share of fighting...I have some stories...and I am here to talk about it. There are those that were not as fortunate as me. They are either having a tough time coping, or they are no longer with us. I have lost friends, and that is something that I will always carry with me. I have seen what losing a husband/father/brother will do to the family...and that will stay with me. I thank the Lord that I have Him to lean on..and carry me through the times that are a little rough. He did so for a year, and I know he will be there in the ones to come.
So, tomorrow, if you see a Vet, are related to one or know one. Its ok to say thanks. (I am not fishing for thank you's.. ) We do appreciate it...and sometimes don't know how to respond, but it always makes us feel good...heck...buy em lunch..or a beer... :)
So...I will end by saying my 4 years in the Army has been tough, amazing, growing, and humbling. I will never regret it.