This past weekend I participated in Operation One Voice’s 9/11 Remembrance Weekend in Georgia. This is an organization that serves the families and children of fallen and wounded Special Operations Forces. I have volunteered for several years with this outstanding group and each time and humbled by the servicemen and women I meet. I will describe some more about the weekend tomorrow, but today I wanted to reflect upon what I have been learning is the true cost of service. What the true cost of our freedom is…
I met several Special Operations Forces (SOF) soldiers this weekend and as we were talking I started to get a better understanding of what they and their families sacrifice for our freedom… these young men and women sacrifice being present when their children are born, birthdays, recitals, dinners, and more. The things that they miss may not seem like the end-all, but in reflecting, how often did you and your family sit around a dinner table and discuss your day? How would it feel to have a constant empty seat because Dad or Mom had training, a last minute deployment (SOF has to be ready to mobilize and deploy very quickly), an emergency around the globe, etc. I know a few of the soldiers I spoke with spoke mentioned that their largest regret was missing out on their children’s lives. The soldier is not the only one who bears the brunt of the sacrifice… it is often the family back home, worrying, unsure that truly feels the sacrifice daily. Therefore, if you see a serviceman or woman and wish to thank them for their service, let us also remember to thank their family as well.
“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” – George Orwell