posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 11:17 PM
This is something I wrote a few years back and thought I would share here on ATS. After writing it, I made copies and sent it out in Christmas cards
to random soldiers on the pen-pal lists. For some reason I felt compelled to post it here for all the military members who might like a reminder that
their sacrifice is noticed and appreciated. And to also serve as a reminder to the many who spew their vitriol about the great war machine on those
who do the fighting, a reminder that these are people, not cogs in the wheel. People who deserve our compassion, understanding and love. Never forget
they have faces, not just guns. Hearts, not just machines. Sometimes a simple ‘thank you’, would be more than they have ever heard from anyone.
I woke up this morning thinking about you. I knew you were somewhere in the world thinking of me, not me in particular, but me, one of the millions
of United States citizens you protect. Because that is your job, your passion, your mission, the reason you get up in the morning. For this, I can
never express to you how much I love you and appreciate you.
So in your honor, today, I lived for you, just as you do for me every day. I thought about what you are protecting and what you might miss. As I
rose from my bed, I thanked you for the security to close my eyes at night and, I hoped you, too, had some rest last night. As I showered, I hoped you
were able do the same this morning. I dressed in clothes of my choosing and thought about the clothes you chose to wear and what your uniform means to
my life and security.
I got in my car with its expensive gasoline and thought about the cost you are paying for my fuel. Then, I drove to the mall for you. I thought you
might like to go there, not so much to shop, but to see the people there who you live to protect.
The young mother pushing her screaming two-year-old and sleeping infant in the stroller, and I thought she could be your wife and those, your kids. I
saw the love that she had for them and considered what you left behind.
I went into the shoe store and saw a dad with his 12-year old son and thought, where is his mom? Could it be you? So far away from those you love,
while they must go on with the day-to-day living, waiting for you to return to them? Praying you return to them?
As I was leaving the mall, I saw a woman in a car, with a “Support our Troops” magnet and a military tag on the back bumper. Her hands covering
her face while she weeped with anguish and grief. Could this be your mom? So overwhelmed with the thought of all you do to protect us and how much it
costs you? How much it costs all those who love you?
The grocery store was full of people who don’t realize they have so much selection because of you; that our abundance comes from your strength. It
made me think about what your first meal at home would be; a big thick steak on the grill, a pizza, or just a good home-cooked meal?
I got back in my car and decided to turn the radio up loud so maybe you could hear it. I knew you couldn’t really, but sound waves continue into
space and they may touch you in passing. I changed the stations, wondering what music you like to listen to. Every song made me think of you.
Sometimes, the lyrics reminded me of you, lyrics like soldiers getting letters from home, and other songs reminded me you fight for our freedom to
choose the music we listen to.
I drove past the local high school. On the front lawn practicing was the ROTC. I wondered if you did that, and if you would smile or a frown to see
those kids, probably not much younger than you, working so diligently to one day be where you are.
The local high school teams were playing, so I went to a ball game. I cheered for both teams, because I didn’t know which one you would choose. Did
you play a sport in school; is that where you learned to be the team player you are today?
As my house was coming into view that evening, I thought about the last time you saw yours, probably in your rearview mirror, and how much joy might
fill you when you see it again.
I picked up my mail and wondered how often you received letters from home and if the delivery service was anywhere near reliable as the US Postal
I turned on the TV to watch the evening news. I saw you had a busy day and you had lost more friends and compatriots. I thought about your grief and
sense of loss and anger, and I cried for you because you might not be able to and for them because they can’t. I cried for those parents getting the
worst news of their lives delivered to them and for the children who lost their hero, their pal, their dad or mom.
While I cleaned up for bed, I wondered if you are still dirty, thirsty and tired. As I lay there, I contemplated you and everything you do for me,
every day that you live for me, for the entire country, and how little we say thanks. I pondered the heart you have and the hurt it holds.
And now I pray. I pray that you can live another day for me so that, perhaps, you will know I have lived a day for you. So you will know how much you
are loved and how much you are truly appreciated. And know that from this day forward, no matter what happens, someone cares. I care.
Thank You For Everything You Do,
Amanda R. Parnell
A Proud Citizen of the United States of America
*Mods- Please move as you see fit. This was my best guess for a forum. Thank you*