On Veterans Day, while it is technically to honor those who served in uniform, we should not forget to honor others. The mothers and fathers whose sons and daughters died while serving in uniform. Those who are widowed or orphaned because a spouse or parent died serving this country. Those parents, spouses and children for whom a Thanksgiving dinner has an empty place at the dinner table or the cheer of a Christmas morning dampened by the absence of a child, spouse or parent who was deployed. The child whose parent was not there for a birthday, graduation, or to watch him or her score a goal in soccer game, or play a piano recital, or any of those other milestones in a child’s life. These are the sacrifices made by the families of those who serve. To me, they are the true unsung heroes, for without them why else would one serve and what would there be to come home to?
So to all of you out there who may fit in one or more of the aforementioned categories, this old vet says: Thank you and Bravo Zulu. For you are the ones who stand behind and provide the unwavering support for the men and women who serve in uniform. For those of you who have lost a child, spouse or parent, you have my deepest sympathies. For those of you who are still keeping the home fires burning, I pray for the safe return of your loved one.
— Thomas J. Yerbich
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