Thank you for your service

By: 
Shane Sellers

We can tell you from experience, military life doesn’t begin with kind words. Nor is the existence often quiet. Loud, profane, and in your face is how it is going in, and largely how it remains until it’s over. 

To the warfighter, it’s never over. His brain-housing group is indelibly etched with memories; harrowing, humorous, heroic, and heart-breaking recollections, all of them systematically catalogued to be conjured-up at precisely the most opportune moment, preceded as is customary with the trademark preamble, “There I was, no sh*#…”

If you let them start, they’ll never shut-up. Warfighters have stories about every imaginable situation, to be matched only by the audacity of the answers they provide to all of the world’s many problems; delivered of course loudly, profanely, and in your face. You see, to them, they’ve earned the right to sound off, and they’ll only stop at one thing.    

“Thank you for your service.”  

That kindly five-word sentence, spoken quietly and sincerely, will move a battle-hardened veteran to silence. Add a firm eye-to-eye handshake, and you’ll move him to tears.  

You should know that your “Thank you” moves veterans, because they engaged America’s enemies in the name of good manners to begin with. Nobody was gonna push around the good ‘ole US of A – not nobody! And nobody did.  

Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines had to get ornery – and bloody – to teach the world better manners; to maintain good order and discipline, and for that orneriness our warfighters sometimes had to apologize. 

But when they hear, “Thank you for your service,” they realize their hard work and sacrifice is accepted and appreciated. Reverently they pause to reflect on your love of country. Because to a veteran, that’s what your ‘thank you’ means; that you love America, and you never want to see her fall.  

You should also know that veterans don’t accept your gratitude for their own sakes. Rather, they shake your hand, look you in the eye and hear your words in behalf of ghostly specters, courageously choking-back tears for comrades who died never hearing a single “thank you” from anyone. When you say “thank you” to a veteran, you’re talking to them all.  

Newcastle’s opportunity to say “Thank you” to American service men and women comes early this year in a month-long string of patriotic remembrances that begins this week.  

Friday night at Schoonmaker Field it’s the Veteran’s Appreciation Football Game, with the Newcastle Dogies hosting the Thermopolis Bobcats. American flags will be offered to all fans in attendance, courtesy of Chick Financial and the News Letter Journal.  

Next, the same sponsors are bringing the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band to town on Monday, October 15 for a free concert at Crouch Auditorium at 7 p.m.  

Veteran’s Day, the official United States public holiday is observed annually on Sunday, November 11. Many local churches will honor military veterans in special ceremonies.  

Finally, the traditional Veteran’s Day High School and Middle School Concert is Monday, November 12, at 11 a.m., also in Crouch Auditorium.  

We hope you’ll make time to attend some of these special events, all of them if you can. Let’s join together to celebrate freedom, to honor America, and offer a sincere “thank you” to the men and women who proudly and selflessly shoulder their weapons, that we all may forever breathe freely between our shores.

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News Letter Journal

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