Today our country stops and thanks those who have served in the military. I served briefly in the US Navy and learned some very important lessons during that time in my life.
1. I learned that people with the same goal working together can accomplish anything.2. I learned that no matter if you agree or disagree with your boss, that there is the right way and the wrong way to voice that, and you must always do it with respect.3. I learned that one negative person can impact the morale and undermine the common goal of a group.4. I learned about paying attention to detail.
5. I learned, even if you don’t understand, that you have to obey, because the person over you knows more then you do and someone’s life might depend on it.6. And I learned that you don’t just do “enough” you go above and beyond.
I never went into combat, I never left the US and some of those things I had been taught as a child, however, there is a difference I believe in being taught something and actually learning it. I was “taught” French in high school but unless you want me to sing about planting a vineyard I never learned French. I could not go to France today and converse with anyone. Every one of these lessons, and these are just a few, I have applied to my entire life, not just my military one.
But there are some people that I want to thank today who went above and beyond in their service.
My grandfather, Ben Johnson. He served in WWII and saw more then I will ever know. Thank you Granddaddy. I know the military was different back then, the world seemed so much different, but you went and you fought and you came back home (thank God you did). You are in your 80’s now and you talk more about the times of your youth then you do about yesterday. Thank you for helping to make sure your daughter was safe, your granddaughter was safe, and your great-granddaughter was safe. You don’t claim to be a hero, or some great man, you just went and did what had to be done. Thank you.
My ex-husband, Danny Rider. You serve our country now and have for years. Thank you for all that you give. Even though you and I have had our ups and downs there are two things I could never repay you for. Most importantly is our daughter who amazes me every day. The second is your commitment to the US Navy. It is hard and you have sacrificed much, it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I am proud of you and all you have accomplished. Thank you.
If you see a veteran today, thank them, but thank them again tomorrow. Their sacrifice and willingness to serve impacts their entire life, not just one day.