I have never been in the military. In 1970, I was eighteen years old and the draft was coming. The Vietnam War was in the nightly news. Thousands of our men and women were being sent to southeast Asia. As an eighteen year old, high school graduate with a draft status of 1A, I felt I would have been drafted and sent to Vietnam. I was neither, pro-war or anti-war, I would do my duty if called, but I hoped I wouldn’t be called. The day before the draft lottery, I almost joined the Air Force, but I did not and took my chances. Out of a possible 365 (one per each day of the year), my birthday number was 350. I was safe; I would not have to go.
My father was in the Army and fought in Europe during WWII. My brother and sister both served in the Navy. My father-in-law was a Major in the Army Air Corp and served in Europe. My uncles served in the military.
As a nation, most of our families have a similar story. Throughout our nation’s history, families have shared their loved ones to protect our country, our families, and our way of life. For this, the members of our armed services deserve our highest respect and gratitude. We must do our best to provide for those who have faced the enemy.
I say Thank You to the 1970 guy whose number was 10, 47, 63, 82, or 106 who went in my place. I don’t know if you came back home or not, but I’m grateful to you. You probably never had a parade or someone to pick up your meal ticket, but to you I say “Thank you for your service. My life has been good because of what you have done or are currently doing.”
I’m just one of many who give thanks to you throughout the year.