One of my sons recently came home from a 12-month military deployment.
My wife and I took a couple of days and flew to welcome him at his stateside arrival airport. We watched soldier after soldier pick up his or her duffel bags and other luggage in baggage claims. We didn't see families or friends hugging them and welcoming them home. My son turned the corner and came into the area and I was so delighted to see him. For the first time in one year I heard his voice and hugged him. I'm sure I was missing something. Surely there was another area where spouses, family or others were located in waiting to greet these wonderful military men and women. However, I didn't see them. I felt like my wife and I were the only two people in waiting to welcome a family member.
I wonder if we are missing something altogether in this nation. Do we take for granted all that we still have in America? In Colorado, Americans are free to smoke pot. In many of our states we are free to gamble our money away if we choose. We are free to choose the religion of our choice. In Kentucky, we can choose Bourbon Whiskey or from any number of multiplying vineyards. Gay and lesbians can find a way to legally bond somewhere in America. Street preachers in America can still cry out the gospel. States are crying for people to start businesses. All in all, in America, you can do most anything you want to do. America doesn't ask a whole lot of us. We have to pay some taxes. We aren't allowed to hurt people. We have a few rules to obey. We are to obey the driving laws and that's about it.
Soldiers are called upon to lay down their lives. We do pay them. However, most of our service people make very low wages their first few years. I realize they have some benefits but we are asking them to fight to help protect us and maintain our American way of life.
Say thank you to a veteran or to a passing soldier. They appreciate being appreciated. Remember those who gave their lives for us in war. Without their sacrifice America would have been a thing of the past a long time ago.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and is read in all fifty states. He is the author of eleven books. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.