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Sometimes you have to say thank you.

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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.

Dear Soldier,
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 Service.

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*

posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 11:27 PM
That was a very beautiful letter. I hope you send it out.

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 12:52 AM
I think, when I am at least attempting to feel more compassionate than usual, that yes, soldiers *do* deserve gratitude for being willing to go to war.

I do not believe in the rationale behind any war I've read about, since at least WW2; and probably even that one as well. I think they were all started by rich men who in various ways, started them in order to get richer.

Yet as far as the individual soldier is concerned, that does not make his sacrifice any less; and in a way, it actually makes it greater. This is because it means that the soldier is still willing to extend the same degree of loyalty, up to and including the point of giving his life, to those who, in terms of the people issuing his orders, have not given him an equal degree of loyalty in return. So he is still doing the right thing, in the only way he knows how to do it.

So I realise that it truly is wrong of me, to blame the individual, rank and file soldier, in the event that the brass and politicians are corrupt. That is asking him to shoulder responsibility which not only does not belong to him, but which is added to the degree of suffering that he has already experienced.

A soldier who follows orders in good faith, therefore, is to be shown our gratitude on that basis. If the orders themselves are corrupt, or are issued by corrupt individuals, then that is something which it is our responsibility as civilians to take care of. We and the military are meant to exist symbiotically with each other. There are things which the troops can do for us, but there are also things which they need us to do for them.

Civilians should not have spat on Vietnam veterans who came back from that conflict. If anyone deserved spitting on, it was the government, for sending them over there in the first place. A soldier is responsible for carrying out his orders. He is not (and cannot be, if a military is to function) responsible for ensuring the integrity of those orders.
edit on 3-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:58 PM
Thank you thehoneycomb and petrus4 for both reading my message and replying to me.

It seems that the world has taken an odd turn. Everything that is vile in the world receives interest and accolades, while a poignant thought or moment is thought to be aberrant. The rarity in the desert of the life we live. Well, dang it. We have the power to change it. To say, I recognize this moment for the beauty that it is. I acknowledge what you where trying to do, even if the outcome was not what I or many other would have wanted.

Our military, police, and other authority figure, as individuals, may want to bring peace and safety to our world. Yet through the actions of a few small-minded, yet influential people, lead us further away from a loving and peace-filled world. It is up to US, as individuals, as to how we view this. The whole glass half full/empty paradox. I don't want to be too ethereal (or artsy-fartsy as my uncles would say) but our world IS as we perceive it. If we refuse to acknowledge the goods in other how can we see the good in ourselves? And how can anyone see the good in us, as well?

Have you thanked yourself today? I bet you did something worthwhile today. I bet at a minimum, you were honest with yourself, at least once. For some, That alone may be a huge achievement. Do you even see the good in yourself? It's there. You need to recognize it. Just the smile at a butterfly, or a moment of serenity. Those moments should be the ones praised as worthy, and dwelt upon. Not the moment someone cut you off, or said something rude to you (which is generally them taking there own bad day out on you)

Yet we internalize this dialogue. Not the other. Just as we condemn an entire section of the population for the actions of others.

Say thank you. To someone. Sometime. Even, if it just yourself. It could change your life. Or our world.

Wouldn't that be wonderful?
edit on 3-4-2012 by amarenell because: spelling

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 03:42 PM
A friend sent this link to me and for that I thank him..

I thank you amarenell for this thread, the heart felt sentiments and how you made me feel, not just about my time in the Marines, but my life overall.

I freely admit I cried like a baby all during reading it and I read it many times so far.

It is for people like you that I have served in uniform for the past 33 years.

You and this

Make all my life worthwhile


posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 03:45 PM
reply to post by amarenell

I hope you do not mind that I saved this in "Word" format so that I could read it from time to time


posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 04:16 PM
"I believe in the sun even if it isn't shining.
I believe in Love even when I am alone.
I believe in good people even when they are silent."

A Veteran - whether Active Duty, Retired, National Guard
or Reserve - is someone who at one point in their life wrote
a check made payable to "The United States of America ", (my add is to their country not just the USA)
for an amount of "up to and including their life." That is
Honor, and there are way too many people in this country (all countries (my add))
who no longer understand that.
--Author Unknown

My heart goes out not to the ones who gave their life which is horrible in itself, but also to the ones who are crippled or disfigured for the rest of their life because they fought for their countries. There are no glorious wars, only hard dedicated men and women warriors trying to survive the situations they find themselves in.

A wonderful friend of mine who came to my unit as a new guy was named Tony Ledo. I flew with Tony a couple of times and enjoyed his wit and comradely, plus he was a good stick/pilot which lived in our bunker...

Everyone in my unit usually crashed or was shot down twice for a years tour.. When you got the second crash and survived it was like a major weight was removed from your butt and mind..

Poor Tony crashed 5 times as a new guy and some of the crashes were bad where people were killed and maimed...not Tony he never got a scratch...

I came back to the states and after a year ran into one of my squadron mates... We were talking about what happened after I left and Tony's name came up... He was aircraft commander when his ship was shot down in Laos killing everyone...

I always figured Tony was going to live someplace in the N.E. and have a nice Italian wife and many Italian kids then 'poof' all was gone he was dead. The reason I tell this story is Tony never once said, "screw this, I am out of here give me a transfer" which he could have done.

He did have the shakes and was becoming superstitious after the 5th crash but never once did he try to get out of a mission. Tony is but one of many I have known who gave their all for something they believed in.
I too hate war and what it does to all participants but it is part of this existence right or wrong it's a fact Jack.

I wish humankind had an alternative to death and destruction but history seems to indicate otherwise, for even today (regardless of where you live) there are those who want to force their will upon you and if necessary bring their idea of hurt to your little kingdom; government, religion, money, land or food, pick a cause it don't take much to let loose the dogs of war...

edit on 2-10-2013 by 727Sky because: ....

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 04:43 PM
People willing to sign up to kill people they've never met, in a place they've never heard of.
People willing to kill for political ideologies utterly beyond their comprehension.
People who rush towards their own death, while bringing death to all who stand in the way of the military machine.

These are no friends of mine. These are no friends of my country. These are people who murder strangers and come home to cheers of "THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" from equally naive and destructive-minded people at home.

I pity them for their ignorance, and I despise them for joining the most destructive machine on planet Earth. The only good soldier is the one putting down his weapon for good.

We don't live in a world dominated by who has the most bullets or bombs - it's about who controls the information. If you want to be a true warrior, then fight for the truth, and for the free flow of information. The US military is one of the greatest enemies to that in existence.
edit on 06201310 2013f 348Wednesday by Son of Will because: (no reason given)

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