Gratitude: 11.11

My oldest brother Mark, many years ago, when he first joined the Army

There is quite possibly no words to describe how I feel about those who serve. I am grateful for those people who choose to serve our country. I've spent a lifetime surrounded by those sorts of selfless souls: my Grandpa; my uncles (one such uncle served in Vietnam and Iraq, a long, storied career as a soldier);  my brothers (three of my four brothers served and one continues to serve as I type this); my brother-in-law;  my father-in-law; my cousins (there's a flight surgeon in the bunch, an airman, an infantryman and artillery officer .... to name just a few); and the fellow soldiers, with whom I spent the most formidable years of my life with while on Active Duty and in the Reserves (some of whom are currently in the Middle East defending the USA and its interests). 

My youngest brother Chris and his boys earlier this year: Chris is still serving.

As a soldier I learned more about myself than at any other period of my life. These people -- the ones who dedicate their lives to service -- are a special breed. I am grateful I was raised in a family that values service (not just military service, but public service as well).  I'm grateful for the lessons I learned through my service. And I am especially grateful that given the trying times that our country is and has been facing people still make the choice to serve our country (Jeremy, Keith, Caleb, April, Chris D. ... just a few who are close to my heart and continue to soldier on). Blessings of love, peace and strength to your heart from mine. You are my heroes.