We moved to Clarksville in 2001, a month after 9/11. Until that point, everything I knew about war, I learned from high school history classes. Those textbooks were wrong. Very wrong.
Wars are not fought by men whose only option was to enter the service. Wars are not fought by heartless brutes who carry death wishes. Wars are not fought by men who are immune to pain and emotion.
In fact, soldiers are men and women. Soldiers are intelligent. Soldiers had other career options. Soldiers miss their families. Soldiers are lonely. Soldiers cry. Soldiers fight to win battles and then often fight to forget those same battles. Soldiers come home to kids who cannot remember them and spouses who have leaned to live without them. Soldiers leave the battlefield and then fight to save their marriages. Soldiers face every deployment with the possibility that they may not return.
Soldiers sacrifice so that I don’t have to.
Today I’m grateful for freedom and fireworks.
But I salute the soldier who lives the life I’m not sure I could.
To the men and women of our armed forces, past and present, (and especially to the troops at Ft. Campbell)...thank you.