I'm an American veteran.
One of the luckiest in the nation having served in a narrow slice of the American time line, known as "Peace Time." As a Navy Photographer on the USS Nimitz my biggest daily stress was if the camera flash went off to properly light the scene of the "Skipper" and a visiting dignitary on the Bridge of the carrier. For a while I was the editor of the ships cruise book and the Captain's personal photographer. I had the world by the balls and I knew it at the time!
When someone thanks me for my service, I feel a little bit of pride. But if they say, thank you for your sacrifice, I get embarrassed. Sacrifice? I was away from my family one Christmas while I was overseas. In Naples Italy, Franko, the guy that owned the Pub I frequented, pretty much adopted me and a couple of shipmates for Christmas. He and his wife Maria had us up to his family villa for dinner and several bottles of vino. He then gave us his car to drive back down the mountain to our hotel. Some sacrifice.
We are surrounded by men that fought in wars from yesteryear and also now, women from battle fields not long ago. Not all sacrifices are as visible as a missing limb and it's not easy to tell what sacrifice a warrior carries in their heart. Or if part of their soul was left in a far away land. These are the men and woman I'd like to salute this Veterans Day.
Thank you for your service.
Thank you for your sacrifice.