Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gratitude Matters -- Please Thank America's Veterans

Agriculture is truly my passion! I love working on the farm and I adore telling others about it. Hence, my online farm journal! Like many farmers, as much as I love agriculture, I must also rely on other income to meet my needs. I like to eat, my goats like to eat, I utilize a cell phone, I enjoy driving the Goatmobile -- and these things all cost money. Thus, I hold a substitute teaching license and I work part-time for a catering company. These work opportunities allow me to be able to carry out my dream of a farm enterprise, and I truly value them!

The catering company for which I work is quite super, and I have met a lot of interesting people through it! This weekend I had the opportunity to work a very intense house party in German Village. The chef who oversaw the event was an individual I had not met before. I will admit that my first impression was that he was a bit of a grumpy old man, but it took only a short time working with him to realize he was incredibly skilled & treated other individuals who worked hard with respect. He teased me quite a bit for my formal traits, as it was ingrained in me by my grandfather to always say "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" and I follow that rule strictly.

Toward the end of the chef's shift he engaged me in conversation, asking what I did besides the catering work. He was intrigued by the goats and we had a nice discussion about my farm work. During our chat, he mentioned that he had served in the military. I asked which branch he served in, and learned that he had been an army medic in Vietnam. My immediate response was to offer a simple "Thank you." The chef -- a bit surprised -- asked me to repeat what I said, and then told me that in the three decades since he had returned from war, I was only the third person to say that to him. He shared a bit about his experiences in the military, and I appreciated the chance to discuss it, albeit briefly, with him.

This exchange has stuck with me all weekend. We are so blessed to live in a country where we have such freedoms, and without our veterans none of this would be possible. A man who has served his country, and then returned home to quietly carry on a civilian life, is an amazing hero. I was delighted to see the wonderful celebrations on Veterans Day this year, but as Americans we must remember to honor our veterans EVERY day. A veteran should constantly feel appreciation for all that they have offered our great country. It is a gift from God to be an American, and our veterans have been willing to offer their greatest possession -- their lives -- to protect our land & our liberties.

There are so many things we have to be thankful for during this holiday season: our families & friends, our health, our farms, and life itself! The next time you hear someone say that they served in the military, remember that they made it possible for us to have the peace & freedom to enjoy these blessings! Please thank them. Simple gratitude means a great deal! We are so blessed and we should never forget to offer appreciation to those who guarded our liberties!

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