To those who have worn the uniform, and to those who still do.
To those who have left home to defend it.
To those who have known fear and fought in spite of it.
To those who have vowed to uphold honor, courage, and commitment.
To those who have been to the jungles, the sandbox, the trenches.
To those who fall asleep to the sound of mortars.
To those for whom sleep is but a haunted battleground.
To those who are greeted with a hero’s welcome.
To those who are forgotten.
To those whose trigger fingers are calloused.
To those whose knees ache from praying.
To those whose ears have heard the taps sing their lullaby too many times to count.
To those who have forgone comfort and safety.
To those who have seen unspeakable horrors.
To those who have lived through them.
To those who describe their days with acronyms: MRAPs, IEDs, RPGs, MREs, ACUs.
To those who have laid down in Arlington.
To those who leave roses and tears on the tombstones.
To those who have risked it all, and to those who still do.
To those who have chosen to live a life that exemplifies sacrifice, valor, and selflessness.
To those who have died because of it.
To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Thank you. You are heroes, the world is better because of you, and we need more like you. We are forever thankful for your sacrifice and service.
And to the families on the homefront, thank you. You have sacrificed things most civilians will never know, and our nation is indebted, because you have shared with us the best of the best.
And to anyone who dares to denigrate or belittle our servicemen or what they do, I’ll kick your ass. Honest to goodness.
Now give ’em hell, and come home safe.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.