Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today is Thanksgiving Day

In looking over the past year there are a lot of things to be thankful for. I’m thankful that we have young men and women who still care enough about our country that they are willing to give up time out of their lives to protect and defend our freedoms. In walking through the grocery store last night, I noticed all the babies and young children, and thought about those serving in the sandbox and the Balkans who don’t have the luxury to be able to spend the holidays with their families, and watch their children preparing for their first Christmas, their first step, that first day of school, the first communion, that first time behind the wheel of the car…all the things the rest of us take for granted. Or the spouse left behind that has to raise the kids alone, or figure out how to replace the water heater that just broke, or where to take the car to get it worked on. These are the true heroes, the young men and women who serve in the armed services of this country, and their families, and I pray we never forget their sacrifices.

I’m thankful that patriotism has come back into favor. That never again will our young men and women return home from fighting for their country, and be ashamed of their duty, or be treated like outcasts by an ungrateful nation. I’m thankful that we are able to attend the send off’s and that we are there to welcome them home. That we do make a difference in that young man or woman's life.

And I’m thankful that I have a warm place to sleep tonight and will be sitting down to a turkey dinner later today, unlike some of our veterans who have no home, and the prospects of a turkey dinner are bleak.

I’m thankful that we’ve been able to make a difference in our older veteran’s lives, by visiting them in the VA Homes and establishing friendships as we played bingo together. For some it’s the only outside contact they have.

I’m thankful that Lynn still has a job, because some of us have either lost our jobs or may not have one much longer.

I’m thankful that because through the generosity of fellow Minnesotans, that the MN Patriot Guard currently has the funds available to assist those serving our country, those who may become wounded, or God forbid, make that ultimate sacrifice and lay down their life for our country.

I’m thankful that as an organization we are establishing and have established relationships with the Family Readiness Groups throughout the state, so our National Guard families know someone here in Minnesota cares about them and their sacrifices here at home.

And if it’s not to early to ask for my Christmas wish, I wish that all our young men and women return safely back home to their loved ones. That the only missions in 2009 will be send off’s and welcome homes, or our visits to the VA Homes.