The Wind Beneath Our Wings

editorial-logo3November is a wonderful month. For those of us who look forward to the holidays, each year it is the official month that celebration can begin without cross looks from neighbors and coworkers. In East Tennessee, it is the month of colorful leaves and cooler days, football, evenings by the fire, and, of course, Thanksgiving. Many of us spend the entire month on social media expounding on the things for which we are thankful. Believe me, I am all about a month that is dedicated to thankfulness. Too many times we forget just how lucky we are to be living where we live, when we are living. Just by virtue of a fortunate birth we are blessed. But, before we take the first bite of turkey or listen to the first Christmas carol (although I may be a bit too late) we have another blessing to acknowledge. November is also the month that we celebrate and give thanks for our Veterans.

For most, the concept of living in a nation that is less than what we now enjoy is unthinkable. And I, for one, am thankful every day for the freedoms that many view as rights. But, I realize that they came with a price tag attached and that my tab has been paid, decade after decade, by those that faced the wolf at the door and kept him at bay. It is not important where they served or why they served, be it from a sense of duty or obligation or pride. It is that they stepped up and served that has my unending gratitude. They wear many different faces. Some are old, and some are surprisingly young. Some are male, and some are female. But, they are all someone’s child, someone’s brother or sister, husband or wife. They are, themselves, mothers and fathers, friends, coworkers, lovers, and neighbors. Some carry the pride of their service like a mantel for all to see, and others rarely or never speak of it. Some have scars that are visible to the world, and others have scars that are so deep that most have no idea they exist.

They walk among us, these everyday heroes. It is easy to forget that they are there, that they have been there all along standing watch and moving to action when the situation requires it. But they were, indeed, there, and it is their sacrifices that make us the fortunate ones. We, as a nation, set aside one day a year to thank those that protect our freedom and secure our borders, those that stand watch while we go about our daily lives and fight the good fight while many of us are ignorant of their charge. This week, thank a Veteran. Talk to him or her about their service and listen to their story. Remember that freedom has never been free, though you really don’t have to tell a Veteran that because they are intimately aware of the cost. Thank them and then thank them again. And if you get a chance, thank them a third time.

Happy Veteran’s Day to each and every man or woman who has served this wonderful nation! May God bless you during this month of thanksgiving and the years to come. The eagle still sores high, and you are most definitely, now and always, the wind beneath our wings.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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