My grandfather was a veteran of WWI. I never met him. He died about ten years before I was born. My father-in-law was a veteran of WWII. I never met him, either, as he passed while my husband was still a teenager. Two uncles on each side of my family served during Vietnam. Two are gone now, two are still here to thank. . . Thank you, Uncle Ralph and Uncle James, for your service. Thank you to my brother-in-law Michael Angelo Garren, chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, for serving still. Thank you to members of the next generations who serve now, too.
All these veterans, and I can tell you I have never had a clue how deep their sacrifices have been. The other Angie Garren, my late mother-in-law, was not a veteran of the military. However, she grew up in Germany and was there during WWII. She told her children more stories than I ever heard from her, but one of the few stories she told me about it did much to explain to me the horrors of war, any war: "We would walk down the street, stepping over the dead bodies, only stopping once in a while to turn one over if it looked like it might be someone we knew."
For those of us who value our freedom but have no idea of the extent of the sacrifices on the part of those who protect our freedom, today is the day to say THANK YOU.