Veterans Day: A Time for Gratitude

My husband returned home from a yearlong deployment 15 years ago. On Veterans Day, I’m especially aware of how lucky we are.

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Posted in , Nov 8, 2019

Veterans Day anniversary

This year, my husband Rob and I celebrated two anniversaries. One was our 20th wedding anniversary in late October. The other, on Veterans Day, is 15 years since he returned home from a yearlong deployment to the Middle East with his Army Reserve unit.

Every Veterans Day is a day of special gratitude in our house. We give thanks to those who serve our country with courage and commitment, and to the families and communities that sustain their service members with pride, hope and everything in between.

But at milestone years—5, 10, and now 15 years since Rob’s deployment—we especially reflect on how grateful we are to be here, together.

It was a coincidental confluence of our personal history and the U.S. Army’s deployment calendar that Rob returned home in time to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, 5 years, in 2004.

But there are ways in which it feels like more than a coincidence. After all, both marriage and military service require steadfast commitment, the active decision to continue doing something each person has promised to work toward. Also, in both marriage and service, no one is alone—collaboration and teamwork are crucial to success and safety. And finally, both marriage and the military ask different things of us at different points in time.

Rob is no longer in the Army, but our marriage, happily, continues. The lessons we both learned through his service have remained with us, strengthening us, challenging us and helping us grow.

And so it is with particular emotion that I will thank Rob for his service on this Veterans Day. Fifteen years is a long time, and we’ve made a wonderful life in that decade and a half. Today more than most, I’m grateful he served with such courage—and then came home to me.

How do you thank the veterans in your life?

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