Today is Veteran's Day, and all over the internet and the media everyone is thankful for our veterans, our freedom, our military. I am too. Only, I am thankful more than just today. I am thankful for those who lost their lives in service to our country; who had a part in keeping these United States free. But more than that, and what I am daily thankful for are the lives that were not lost in military service.
I am thankful that my maternal grandfather did not lose his life in World War II, even though he suffered battle wounds that left him with a lift in his shoe and a slight limp for the rest of his life. I am thankful he made it home from Europe alive. Because had he not lived through his time of Army service, my mother would have never been born. And without her, I would never have been born. So I am very thankful that Grandpa's life was spared.
I am thankful that my father did not lose his life in the Vietnam War. Because I was born ten months after he completed his service in the Marine Corps. Had he not made it home alive, I would not have been born. (See a theme here?)
I am thankful that my cousin did not lose his life in any of his many tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, and that he is about to retire from the Marine Corps at the ripe "old" age of 40.
I am thankful that my eldest son, DS1, has completed his active duty in the Marine Corps without harm. Had he not returned from his deployments, not only would I forever mourn a son, I would not currently be a grandmother.
I am very, very thankful for the service of these particular men, and that God has spared them from the ultimate sacrifice to their country.