A Tribute to Heroes and Legends
November 11, 2021
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.  John 15:13 NLT
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 NLT

I stood at the podium on a make-shift stage and looked out across the sea of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Lines crept across their faces, created by war-torn missions and sleepless nights. Instead of seeing pain or defeat, I saw hope. I saw my family. Not the one by birth, but one I would die for, nonetheless. 

This family is the U.S. military: past, present, and future. It is the family of men and women, comrades in arms, that sustained, challenged, and protected us for over two decades. 

On this day, I stood as we celebrated my husband’s Air Force retirement. It was the day we had planned for and prayed over. But, as we said our goodbyes, I saw them in a different light. As a Veteran, I no longer saw them as my comrades in arms. No longer did we stand together. But now, these men and women were our future. 

Our family closed our military chapter, but their story would continue.  At that moment, I renewed my faith. I saw strength. I knew they would lead our Nation and protect its values. They would serve, and when called, they would give everything in the name of freedom. 

As we thanked our Special Operations family, I remembered our suffering. I remembered the men and women we lost. Each time, together, we suffered in silence. There were days when we said goodbye to husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters.  We grieved as families and comrades longed for a loved one that will never return home.  We exchanged folded flags and stood for 21-gun salutes. 

Our promise is to strive to honor their legacy, but nothing can ever truly express our sadness. We pick up the pieces and begin to build a new life without them, but the task is daunting.

To the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice, we cannot express our greatest grief.  We honor your lives, your family, and your legacy – every single day.  Your stories are carried in the hearts of those who continue to serve, and your story will never end.  Your memory will never be forgotten

To the Veterans who served in the name of Freedom, we say “Thank You”.  Our lives will never be the same.  

All my love,

A Fellow Patriot