Veterans Day 2019
There is not much I celebrate in life right now, but my freedom and safety are impossible to overlook. And for that, I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to veterans and active duty military — my grandfather included, a man who loved his country, lived his values and was blessedly welcomed home with the reception of which all veterans are deserving. Throughout harrowing recovery since my accident, I have been focusing on gratitude wherever possible, expressing that through daily journaling, affirmations, notes to friends, and most recently, letters to military. I just began writing holiday cards to our active, reserve and veteran service members to humbly and personally thank them for their sacrifice, for answering the call, for safeguarding lives and liberties; to express my unwavering respect for their bravery, courage and presence wherever and whenever needed; and to pledge to do more to stand in solidarity with, advocate policy for and support veterans and military, as well as their families, especially amid startling, shameful, tragic rates of veteran suicide, unemployment, homelessness, inadequate medical benefits and mental healthcare. I am the proud granddaughter of an Air Force pilot (who I only wish I could wrap my arms around), the proud cousin of service members who recently completed tours of duty, the proud friend of countless heroes who have served our country past and present. Even when I struggle desperately to find light or overcome hellish health woes, I never fail to remember that I owe my very life to our military and veterans. I am grateful to one and all, here and there, young and old, known and anonymous — and invite you to join me in affirming that through word and deed today on Veterans Day, this holiday season with handwritten notes (just ask to join!) and every single day.