Grateful today for our Veterans, including my father and grandfather, uncles, and a brother and cousin who currently serve. We owe them–and all those who’ve been willing to risk life and limb in the service of our Country–a deep debt of gratitude. I was touched this week by a story I heard on the radio. In it, a man named Michael Reagan recalled an experience he had in Vietnam at age 19. Another soldier, Vincent Santaniello, lay dying in his arms. Just before he died, Vincent looked up at his friend and said, “Mike: I just want to go home.”
I found that story particularly poignant because my own son, roughly the same age, is halfway around the world at this moment. Fortunately, he’s not fighting a war, but sharing a message of peace, and we don’t spend days and nights tormented by the thought that a bullet or bomb could cut short his young life and erase his bright future. So it tore at my heart strings to think of all the young men, who over the years since our Country’s founding have risked–and in millions of cases paid–the ultimate price for our freedoms. Many millions more did not have to pay that price, but emerged scarred, physically or emotionally. Even more have served, returned home unscathed, and gone on to lead everyday lives like the rest of us. In every case, however, we must honor those who, by signing up to serve, accept a level of risk to themselves that most of us would hesitate to shoulder. That’s a brave and noble act, worthy of our deepest respect and admiration.
Thank you to all our Veterans on this Veteran’s Day. We owe our liberty to you.
You can listen to the full story of Michael Reagan and Vincent Santaniello here: http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/11/10/portrait-veterans-day. It’s worth a listen.