By Janice Eck
(Victor Valley)– My husband was in the United States Navy for 4 years. The second time he was deployed to the Middle East, we had just started our relationship. He was deployed for six months. I knew he’d be home in no time. Six months’ time would fly by quickly, but I knew he was out in a hostile part of the world, risking his life whether in battle or not, living his life not as comfortably as I was. There was always a risk that someone somewhere would do the wrong thing, and set off the wrong chain of events. Thankfully, he did come home, as safe and sound as he could possibly be.
We, civilians, take so much for granted. Unlike most of the world, we have the privilege of voicing our opinions, worshipping who we want, enjoying the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, all because of a special group of people who took it upon themselves to sacrifice their time, their families, their friends, their livelihoods, and countless other aspects of life to defend the people of this country. We owe them, at the very least, our thanks and gratitude. Who are these special groups? Veterans – Veterans of the past, present and future. All the way back from the inception of this country, veterans are the reasons why anyone is here in our great United States of America. They fought and still fight on our behalf to ensure our rights as citizens of this nation.
The United States is the most diverse country in the world. We are different in race, origin, culture, religion, opinion, and anything else you can think of. We have rights that people in other countries can only dream of, which is why there are still millions of people immigrating to this country. Our freedoms are secure because of the sacrifices by our veterans, armed service reserves, and active military.
People enlist in the military every day. There is definitely a certain type of person that decides to go into that life even if it’s for the minimum number of years. In addition to leaving their families and friends, they step out of their comfort zones – no more comfy beds, no more home cooked meals or eating out at their favorite restaurants, no more of their favorite TV shows, no more personal bubbles, no more of anything you and I have the pleasure of doing at our leisure. Our service men and women sacrifice much more than we could ever imagine and all of them risk their lives as soon as they sign that paper. They risk their lives so that we may have the freedom we enjoy so much today.
Even after their military life is complete, veterans are still making sacrifices. The emotional and spiritual trauma they endured, many times, take tolls on their civilian lives. So many of our veterans suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and find they can’t go back to life as it was before the military. Even if our veterans aren’t officially diagnosed with PTSD, they experienced enough to be different from when they went in.
I can’t thank God enough for bringing my husband home safe from his deployments or for his experience in the Navy that made him the man he is today. I know there are many families who are not as fortunate as I am. I would like to take this moment to say again, thank you to my husband for his service. And thank you to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We owe you so much more than we could ever convey.