I have been MIA for the last few days due to medical issues… (I hope you noticed) I have been thinking a lot about all the support us service members receive from many different people and organizations. I don’t think we respond with the proper amount of thanks to all of those who support us behind the scenes. I think we should all think about this for a second and take a moment to think of a civilian that we should be thanking.
My husband is the son of a Vietnam veteran. He grew up surrounded with PTSD and he still opened himself to me. He sacrificed his dream of having children to share a life with me. He lived without me for six months while I was away at a PTSD recovery training facility in a different state. During this time I was dealing with so much I pushed him away, I refused to talk to him, and I left him alone to deal with all the issues he was faced with.
My husband does his best to accommodate my physical disabilities, he holds me tight after I have a flashback or a night terror. Every Veterans Day, every Memorial Day, he comes with me to the Veterans Memorial and he sits quietly in the car allowing me to grieve. He works tirelessly to help me find ways to commemorate and remember all the fallen soldiers. He listens to my Army stories, and never asks about the memories I can’t share. He brings me home different things to show me how much respect he has for me, and he is the first to introduce me as a combat veteran to anyone who will listen.
My husband is my civilian hero, and as I meet more people I find more civilian heroes. Mariah, Melanie, the work you are doing has inspired me, and the passion you exude is breath taking. You two are civilian heroes. Anyone who placed that yellow ribbon magnet on their vehicle is a civilian hero. Davey Walker you are one of my civilian heroes. You time after time drew me out of a dark place when I didn’t see a way out. The USO is one of my heroes, always reaching out for us, stateside or deployed. Every one of you who has ever thanked a veteran or service member, you are my civilian hero. There are so many of you out there, and I want you to know how truly we all appreciate everything you do for us on a daily basis.
Spouses, children, thank you for giving up your parent or your spouse so they could fight for freedom. You are truly our heroes. For every one who every sent a care package, a letter, a classroom full of pictures, you are my heroes. For those families that waited loyally and patiently for your service member’s return, you are our heroes. For those of you who were always there to answer our phone calls no matter the hour, you are our heroes. To those of you who never tired of sending us letters or writing us letters, you are our heroes. To those of you who had a spouse come home a person you didn’t recognize and still you loved us without doubt, you are our heroes. To those volunteers that greeted us as we were coming and going through the airport, you are our hero. For those of you who had countless sleepless nights while your loved one was deployed, you are our heroes.
To all of you on Facebook who dedicate your free time to raising awareness for our cause, you are our heroes. The civilian medical professionals who dedicate their time to healing us, you are our heroes. To the gate guards outside of our duty stations, the dedication you have given for our protection truly makes you our heroes. For those of you who continually rally and fight for the treatment of veterans, you are our heroes. All the organizations that dedicate countless hours raising funds in order to give us veterans opportunities, you are our heroes. For all of those restaurants that give free meals to veterans on Veterans Day, you are our heroes.
Without any of you we may not have succeeded. We may not have been able to struggle through our long days and endless nights. Without all of you we would not have the support that we have today. We would not have the chance to tell our stories, to reach out to each other, to reach out to you. We would be alone. We would go unnoticed. But because of all of you and so many others we can hold our heads high and we have found pride. Our pride, our respect, our honor, the remembrance of our fallen, and the sacrifice we made would mean nothing without all of you.
So I thank you, our civilian heroes, for everything that you have sacrificed in order that our sacrifices would not go unseen. It think it’s important that we all take a stand and thank a civilian that changed our life, that made our journey a little easier and that will never forget our fallen.