Bright and very early Monday morning, several hundred friends and I will be participating in a 4.4 mile walk/run at Eglin Air Force Base near Niceville, FL.
The event, the 27th Annual Gate to Gate, is held every Memorial Day. I expect this one to be huge.
During the walk, I will stop at the Fallen Warrior memorial and say a silent prayer for the military members who died in service and whisper a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all the soldiers and their families who have and are currently serving our country here and on foreign soil.
Both my father and father-in-law are veterans. My dad is former Navy, having served aboard the USS Forretstal in the Mediterranean during the late 1950s. My FIL, a retired Air Force Master Sgt., served for 25 years, including several tours in Vietnam.
I live in a military town… there are at least six installations – Air Force, Army, and Navy – all within an hour’s drive. My husband has worked in the defense industry his entire professional career.
My friend Pia and I have been walking together for the past two months in preparation. We hope to finish the course in under 1.5 hours. Her husband is also retired military. I expect the vast majority of participants are either military, spouses, or friends. It’s a festive atmosphere, but it’s also a gathering of people who appreciate why we are all there.
Regardless of your opinion on our involvement in foreign wars, our military servicemen and women, deserve… have earned… our respect and gratitude. Tomorrow, and every day, we need to recognize that they are making the ultimate sacrifice for you, me, and those we love. When given the opportunity, tell a soldier, ‘thank you.’
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
~ John 15:13