We should never forget the sacrifice that others have made so we can enjoy our freedoms and lifestyle. Shaking their hand and saying "Thank you" is the least you can do. Next time you see a soldier at a restaurant, think about paying the bill without him knowing it. You would not believe how good you feel. My son has told me how generous people are to him and his fellow Coasties and it makes me feel so grateful to them. Also, when I travel through airports I try to have some Starbucks gift cards on hand. Having a cup of coffee while they are waiting in airports is always nice. Something that a lot of people don't know is that lower ranking soldiers make almost poverty level pay. If you figure out how many hours they really work, they make less than minimum wage. So next time you hear someone complain about how much the war is costing, or wanting to cut the military budget remind them that soldiers are not getting rich!
My father-in-law was a Merchant Marine during WWII. When he passed away this past July he was honored with a military funeral. The US Coast Guard acted as Honor Guard and presented the flag to my son, who joined the Coast Guard in April. Needless to say we are very proud of him.
My Dad was a Marine for 24 years and retired as a Gunnery Sargent. He fought in the Korean and Viet Nam wars. He received a purple heart in both wars. This picture of my Mom and Dad was taken a few years before he went to Viet Nam. He died in a car accident six months after retiring from the service, at age 40.